Bernstein earned three NCAA Division III outdoor track titles at Oneonta State, including two this past spring.
He won 200-meter national titles as a junior and a senior. Also as a senior, he helped the Red Dragons’ 400 relay team to a national championship.
On May 27 at Wisconsin-La Crosse, Bernstein won the 200 in 20.81 seconds. He joined freshmen Jake Alviene, Joe Carr and Thomas Wheeler on a 400 relay team that won in a school record 40.82. He also finished second in the 100 in 10.77 — .007 behind winner Thurgood Dennis of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
“I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect ending to my collegiate career,” Bernstein said. “So happy to have such amazing teammates and family here to support me.”
Then in July at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, Bernstein won gold medals in the 100 and 200. The Maccabiah Games are an Olympics-style event held every four years in Israel.
Bernstein won the 100 in 10.53 on July 24. The next day, he won the 200 in 21.31.
8, Pit Run
There’s always some mystery surrounding the Pit Run.
With the annual road race in Oneonta awarding cash prizes for its featured 10-kilometer race, there’s a high possibility of elite professional runners showing up.
But you never know until race day.
Well, because of the government shutdown in the fall, the Pit Run had four Ethiopian-born standouts cruising through the streets of Oneonta on Oct. 6.
Race winner Haile Mengasha broke a decade-old course record by 20 seconds. He finished the 6.2-mile race in 29 minutes, 53 seconds to smash Paul Mwangi’s 2003 record.
His training partner, Ayele Feisha, placed second — five seconds behind Mengasha.
Girma Gebre placed third in 31:20.
The women’s champion, Meseret Basa, won in 36:36.
Mengasha, Feisha and Basa were scheduled to run a half-marathon in Virginia on Oct. 6. That race, however, was postponed because of the government shutdown, so those three wound up dominating the Pit Run.