An All-American on the Track and in the Classroom: A Q&A with Eva Bruno

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Jack Shields: So I know you are the oldest child in your family. Has that forced you to be a hard worker in both academics and athletics? 

Eva Bruno: Being the oldest sibling means that I always had a lot more responsibilities at home than any of my siblings have, which just makes a strong work ethic habitual in all areas of life. It also meant that for most of my childhood, it felt like all eyes were constantly on me, which sounds bad, but I’ve been able to translate it into leadership skills that have benefited me as a student athlete. On our team, we consider each other family in such a literal sense that we have assigned each other roles in the family, such as brother, sister, mom, etc., so whether it’s on the track, in the classroom, or in a social setting, I know that I need to lead by example because I have younger “siblings” and “children” on the team who are watching. 

JS: When you came here, were you expected to be an All-American?

EB: I don’t know if anyone else expected it of me, but I certainly didn’t expect it of myself.  My times from high school were okay, but nothing too impressive, so I was just excited to experience the process of improvement and see it reflected in my races. Since I’ve only been All-American in relays, the achievement wouldn’t have been possible without the talents and efforts of my teammates, as well. 

JS: Why did you pick Secondary Education with a focus in English Language Arts? 

EB: My mom and both of my grandpas were secondary teachers, but with a concentration in math, so going into education might just have been in my blood. I’ve never liked math, but I’ve been a strong reader and writer for as long as I can remember, making a focus in English logical. When it came to choosing between teaching elementary and secondary, there was no question. I’m not an extremely nurturing person, which is a necessary trait for a successful elementary teacher, so I knew that I would be much more suited to dealing with an age group that needs to be challenged and guided rather than mothered. 

JS: How did you find out you were a Google Cloud Academic All-American?

EB: I happened to be home a few weekends ago and my mom showed me the article, which a family friend had sent my parents when they found it in a USF publication for alumni. If it hadn’t been for that, I would never have found out that I received an award!

JS: You run track, but not cross country. How did you get away with that?

EB: It’s a little complicated, but basically, because I didn’t run cross country my senior year of high school, Coach Barker was willing to just let me train with Coach Amy and the long sprinters. In college, most athletes who run the 800 (which is my main event) also run cross, but I prefer having the fall season off of competition.  Since my events fall in between the sprints and distance, sometimes I do workouts with the sprinters, sometimes I run with cross country, and sometimes I have to do workouts on my own, but both coaches are really awesome about having me do the training that I need to do and being flexible with my schedule so that I can balance school and training.

JS: Lastly, would you want to coach track when you start teaching high school? 

EB: Absolutely. That’s one of the main reasons that I decided to run in college. There’s no better way to learn how to teach someone to do something than going out and doing it yourself. In addition, coaching would enable me to “return the favor,” so to speak, for kids who are in the same position I was in just a few years ago. When I graduate, I will have been running competitively for over half of my life, so I know that my last season is going to be really bittersweet, but I think that coaching will help make that transition away from being an athlete much easier.  

Jack Shields is a senior English major at the University of St. Francis. He has been a student assistant with USF men’s basketball since his arrival in Fall 2016. Jack is the current USF English Department Intern for the Fall 2019 Semester. 

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