Nick Bianco named 2019 USATF Event Athlete of the Year
The calendar year may have changed but for Nick Bianco, the accolades keep coming. Fall 2019 saw the dual-sport athlete lead the Massapequa Flaming Arrows to its second county title in three years.
An equally gifted decathloner whose strong suits are the pole vault and the hurdles, Bianco was recently named the 2019 USA Track and Field (USATF) Event Athlete of the Year. Having only run track for roughly three or four seasons since tenth grade, it was an unexpected and humbling honor for the 6’2” track/volleyball star.
“I was in disbelief and incredibly honored,” he said. “I worked so hard, and it all paid off since I was being recognized for all the work I put in. Receiving this award motivates me to work even harder to continue improving.”
Having started out first trying out for volleyball in seventh grade while attending Alfred G. Berner Middle School, Bianco was only 75 pounds and about 5’6” before hitting a growth spurt. A naturally spirited kid, his track coach suggested he put all that energy towards competing in the decathlon, which consists of 10 combined events including the high jump, discus and javelin throws, high jump and the 400m and 1500m runs.
“I was never really above the competition in one single event aside from my main one, which is pole vaulting,” Bianco said. “I was always the kid bouncing around, so my coach asked about trying me in the multi-events. I started with the pentathlon, but he knew the decathlon had better events, so he told me to try that out.”
Bianco’s exploits in the decathlon not only got him recognized by the USATF, but he’s already committed to running track for the University of Colorado in the fall. He’ll be majoring in education, with the hope of coming back to Massapequa to teach science. Given the deep feelings Bianco has for his community, the idea of coming and giving back with his career is the next logical step for the die-hard Mets fan.
“I loved growing up here, because there are always things to do and always a lot of support from everyone,” he said. “[Massapequa] is full of a lot of people and it still feels like it’s a small town. You can go to IGA Supermarket and see people that you haven’t seen in years. The best thing about Massapequa is that people who grow up here stay here.”