Bertollo Girl’s Run Over Hawthorne


Courtesy Of Kieran

The Bertollo Sisters

Kieran McAllister, Staff Writer

The Hawthorne High School Girls’ track team gains new runners every season. Each year the coaches prepare the new recruits for the meets to help them thrive for success. This season Heather Bertollo, a sophomore here at HHS, will be joining her sister Nicole Bertollo, a junior, at the starting line. The two sisters were on the HHS Girl’s soccer team in the fall and helped the team get to the NJSIAA semifinal round. The Clarion was able to ask the Bertollo girls some questions.

Clarion: What events will you be racing in this upcoming season?

Nicole: Last year, I competed in the 1600 meter, 800 meter, the 400 meter hurdles, and for the 4 x 4 I will be switching to the 400 meter instead of the 1600 meter.

Heather: As of right now, I’m not really sure what events I am running because this is my first time running track in high school. I do know that I will be participating in the distance events and not sprinting.


Clarion: Do you think the girls track team will be as successful as the soccer team you both were on in the fall?

Nicole: Yes, I really think the girl’s team is going to succeed. The girls are looking really strong so early in the season. We should be good for the upcoming meets in the spring.

Heather: I believe the girls are going to do great. We get along really well and most of the girls on the track team play soccer too, which brings us closer as a team.


Clarion: Do you enjoy playing/participating in sports with your sister in the fall and spring?

Nicole: I mean every sister relationship has its ups and downs, but for the most part I do enjoy playing sports with Heather. Unlike soccer, we do not interact as much because we run different events.

Heather: Nicole and I get along most of the time. During sports, we are forced to come closer for the success of the team.


Clarion: Do you feel you and your sister have become closer playing high school sports together?

Nicole: I don’t think so, we both go to practice and do our own stuff.

Heather: I feel we become closer during the soccer season because we are forced to in order to excel on the soccer field, but for track we do our own things.


Clarion: Do you enjoy soccer or track more?

Nicole: I enjoy track more because it allows me to be a part of a team and be an individual. Although it’s a team sport, track is all about your own ability and how much you are able to push yourself. It’s the best feeling ever when you see your results.

Heather: I like to play soccer more than running track because I love the competitiveness in it  and running up and down the field with the soccer ball at your feet.


Clarion: Who is your role model and or inspiration when it comes to sports?

Nicole: My inspiration is Jenny Simpson because of her strong work ethic. When she wants something she doesn’t stop until she gets it. She inspires me to work hard and even though it may not turn out the way I want, I know I gave it my all and I can only go up from there.

Heather: My inspiration is Carli Lloyd because she practices all the time and strives to get better. The way she plays every game with so much heart motivates me to be a better player.  


Clarion: Do you have any superstitions that keep you from getting nervous before a game?

Nicole: I like to eat a plain bagel with nothing on it before every track meet.

Heather: For soccer and home basketball games, I always wear my blue lucky Nike, elite socks.


Clarion: Nicole, as a junior do you have any idea what you want to pursue as a career and or where you would like to go to college?  

Nicole: As of right now, I am going into college undecided and I hope to run track.


Clarion: Heather, you have now experienced a semifinal and quarterfinal state game for both soccer and basketball; you were in the starting lineup for both soccer and basketball. How does it feel to have been part of something that will be remembered at Hawthorne High School forever?

Heather: They were great experiences with my coaches and team that I will never forget and cherish forever.


Clarion: What is your best memory with your sister?

Nicole: When I was 9, Heather was 8, we ran away because we lost our softball game and our dad was really angry. We made it to Sprinkles and then our dad found us, got us ice cream, and drove us home.

Heather: When Nicole was 10 and I was 9 we got stuck in an elevator in the Outer Banks. Our whole family was freaking out and looking through this one tiny window. Nicole and I were laughing so hard.


As the Spring track season approaches, the sisters train in hopes of another successful season. Coach Gustav Schell coaches the Bertollo’s for not only track, but for soccer too.

He says, “Nicole and Heather have three things in common. First they are sisters, second they are competitive athletes, and third they are very good athletes.  After that they are completely different which I personally think is great.  Their differences are what make them unique and special.  Both of the girls are major contributors to the programs they are a part of.  I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to coach both of them.  They contribute in their own special way, each different, yet both committed to the final goal of team success.”

The future is looking very bright for these two young athletes and the Clarion cannot wait to see what the sisters bring to this year’s spring track team, the 2018 girls soccer team, and the 2018 spring track team.