Cross contry: Another race, another win for Berggren |

Cross contry: Another race, another win for Berggren

by Will Bublitz
Wes BersteinMiddle Park High School's Samantha Berggren, a freshman, runs alone in front of the pack at Aspen on Oct. 6. She has won every cross country meet she's run this season " sometimes by minutes " except for Steamboat Springs, where she lost to a senior by seven seconds.

In the final regular season meet held at Aspen on Saturday, Oct. 6, Middle Park High’s top cross country runner once again raced to victory.

Panther freshman Samantha Berggren ran the hilly, high-altitude 5-kilometer course in an unofficial time of 22:06. She reached the finish line of the girls varsity race about 36 seconds faster than her closest rival, Annette Stenstadvold of Basalt.

Berggren’s win was her fourth of the 2007 season. The only race she did not win was at Steamboat Springs, where as the runner-up she finished seven seconds behind the winner.

“Sam had another great effort and so did our whole team,” coach Jim “Cajun” Courville said. “All 10 of our runners put in exceptional performances at Aspen. They had to do some serious running on a tough course.”

Ryndi Zastrow was the Panthers’ second-fastest runner in the girls 5K, taking an overall ninth place in a field of 95 runners. Next was Sam Miyauchi who took 17th, followed by Jessica Bondi who placed 35th. Rounding out the Middle Park girls’ results was Hannah Garcia who finished 37th.

In the boys 5-kilometer race Saturday, the Panthers turned in some good results. Nathanial Ziegler was the team’s top runner, taking an overall 27th place in a field of 124 runners. Next in the team’s results was Matt Naschak who finished 56th. He was followed by teammates Matt Curran who took 61st place and Jared Cooper who placed 67th.

The winner of the boys 5K race was Rogan Brown of Durango who had an unofficial time of 19:06.

In the team results, Middle Park’s girls earned a third place in the 12-team competition. The Panther boys placed eighth in the team standings.

With the final regular season race behind them, Middle Park’s runners are setting their sights on their next big challenge ” the Metro League Championships.

The league meet will take place Friday in south Boulder at Viele Lake, adjacent to Fairview High School. The girls varsity race is slated to start at 4 p.m., with the boys varsity 5K following at 4:30 p.m.

The competition continues with the junior varsity boys race at 5 p.m., followed at 5:05 p.m. by the start of the JV girls 5K.

“I expect our runners will do quite well and turn in even faster times at the league races,” coach Jim “Cajun” Courville said. “They have already been tested on some of this state’s toughest courses. I trust that they will do their best this Friday.”

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