Athlete Spotlight: Stephen Sclafani, Running

By: Abby Murphy 



At 11 years old Stephen Sclafani is not sitting inside playing video games. He is doing just the opposite. Sclafani is an amazing little runner, who just adores the act of running. He runs the 1600-meter and the 4-by-1 relay in track as well as doing cross country. I had the opportunity to be able to talk with Sclafani, and was blown away by how impressive and mature this 11-year-old athlete is.
What made you interested in State Games of America 2017?
“My PE coach told me about it one day. I won a silver medal at the Louisiana State Games and qualified for the State Games of America.”
 When asked how he first got into running, Sclafani did not really know. There was no big moment or turning point, he simply just enjoyed running and wanted to compete at it.

 How did you first get started in running?
 “I just liked running. I joined the team and I run the 1600-meter and the 4-by-1 relay.”
 Sclafani’s favorite part about running was an easy answer, he did not hesitate for a moment.  Running is not often thought of as a team sport, but for Sclafani the team and his friends were part of his biggest appeal.

What is your favorite part and what is challenging?
“Training with my friends is my favorite, partners push you harder. Races are challenging when the gun goes off. There are a lot of people all wanting to be first. I am pretty fast though.”
What are some of your other hobbies?
“I like to stay active. Mostly running but I also like to skateboard and mountain bike.”

There are very few 11-year-olds that would know how to answer their proudest accomplishment and goals for their future. For Sclafani, these were easy questions. He has had his goals set since he began running, now he is going after them.

What is your proudest accomplishment and what are some of your goals?
“Winning the silver medal in Monroe, LA was my favorite moment. I used to be one of the slowest people back in first grade, but now I am one of the fastest. I want to try out for the Olympics.”
How do you maintain a healthy living?
“I eat normal, I stay away from junk food and McDonalds.”

Between running and swimming, Sclafani loves them both. Every Olympics he makes sure to not miss watching a single event. He looks up to these athletes greatly. Sclafani struggled in just picking one hero that he admires.

Do you have a hero?
“Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps. I love the Olympics.”

To run with Stephen Sclafani check out track and field and cross country.


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