MPHS cross country: Sophomore Bergren outruns 119 competitors | SkyHiNews.com

MPHS cross country: Sophomore Bergren outruns 119 competitors

by Will Bublitz
Sky-Hi Daily News

The 2008 season began in spectacular fashion for Middle Park High’s cross country team when its top runner from last season raced to victory at Fort Collins last Thursday.

Panther sophomore Samantha Berggren won first place in the girls’ five-kilometer race at Fossil Ridge High School. She outran 119 other girls from 14 teams to cross the finish line with a time of 20:18.

Last season during her freshman year, Berggren won all but two of her races. She was the 3A division’s runner-up during the 2007 Colorado High School State Championships held in Colorado Springs last October.

Middle Park’s fastest male runner at Thursday’s season-opening meet at Fossil Ridge was Nathaniel Ziegler who raced to a 34th place against a field of 124 runners in the boys’ five kilometer. He covered the distance with a time of 19:48.

The rest of the Panther runners turned in respectable times for their first races of the season, including:

Boys ” 63. Hugh McDonough, 20:44; 86. Jared Cooper, 21:57; 99. Nick O’Connor, 22:43.

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Girls ” 35. Samantha Miyauchi, 23:49; 55. Hannah Garcia, 25:28; 61. Kelly Little, 26:05; Jessica Bondi, 26:53; Melissa Plum, 27:15.

In addition to their individual results, Middle Park’s girls earned an eighth place in the 14-team competition. Holy Family won first place, followed by Estes Park in second and Nederland in third.

The Panther boys did not place in their race because they needed five runners for a team score. In the boys 5K, Lyons won the team race while University took the runner-up spot and Erie finished third.

“We are very proud of how our team performed overall in their first race,” said Middle Park’s Coach Jim “Cajun” Courville. “Despite a hot and dusty course, they did a fantastic job navigating the course.”

Last Thursday’s race was not only the first of the season, but also a preview of the 2008 state championships which will also be held on the Fossil Ridge High School course. For the past four years, the state meet has been held in Colorado Springs.

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