June 25, 2022

STATE TRACK: Berg caps junior season in two events at State

Doug Berg ran two races at the state track meet over the weekend at Drake Stadium’s famed blue oval. One went about according to plan, the other he wasn’t as pleased with.

Berg, a junior at Nodaway Valley, competed in his eighth and ninth state-level events, running in the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter runs. He has three state cross country trips and six outdoor or indoor state track events to his name.

On Saturday, Berg capped the state meet with a 4:43.70 in the 1,600, where he placed 13th. He came in seeded 10th in the race after qualifying out of a very stacked meet at Earlham. This was after he earned double golds in a meet at Griswold and the Pride of Iowa Conference Championships. Having also won the conference cross country title, he’s a part of the “Trifecta NV Distance Club.”

“That’s not quite the place I wanted and wasn’t quite my PR (personal record), but it was a good year for the mile. That’s all I had,” Berg said. “I knew if I attached myself to the Earlham kid I’d run a good time. I was in the second waterfall, which is a bad place to start. I got out well and think I was in fourth after the first lap.”

On Thursday, in much hotter conditions than Saturday’s overcast and mid-50s weather, Berg placed 21st in the 3,200, finishing in 10:51.12.

“I think that was one of my slowest times of the year. I don’t know what it was that day. I felt prepared, felt good. The legs just weren’t moving that day,” Berg said.

Distance running coach Darrell Burmeister was very complimentary of the season Berg put together.

“Doug is very dedicated to distance running and is a very hard worker. He puts in hundreds of miles each summer. This year he also started training for spring track in December. His race Thursday was not his best but two days later he ran a great 1,600,” Burmeister said. “A year older and going into his senior year, he has high expectations for state cross country, indoor state track and outdoor state track. It was a privilege and an honor to be able to coach him.”

Head boys track coach Chase Green was also proud of Berg’s season, pointing out he ran just 69 hundredths of a second slower than his personal record in the mile at state.

“He was right in the ballpark. Two of his three fastest races were back-to-back at districts and state [in the 1,600]. He ran hard, well and I think he was hoping to do better, but he was right in the ballpark and did alright,” Green said. “I hope he doesn’t get disillusioned or discouraged. This was just an amazingly competitive year. They had 21 or 22 records broken over the whole meet. It was just a fast year.”

Green was disappointed that there weren’t more Nodaway Valley events that could experience the state meet, because several were on the cusp of making it, like Adam Ayase in the 400-meter dash, the sprint medley, 4x200-meter relay and shuttle hurdle.

“I’m really proud of all the boys. They all worked hard and I think they all had intentions of doing a lot better, but again, the competition was so steep. They were able to put down some really good times that were borderline to qualifying, there was just too much competition and they ended up being edged out,” Green said. “We tried everything we could to qualify. For as hard as they worked I just don’t think they were rewarded like they should’ve been.”

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson has served as News Editor of the Adair County Free Press and Fontanelle Observer since Oct. 2017. He and his wife Kilee live in Greenfield. In Greenfield and the greater Adair County area, he values the opportunity to tell peoples' stories, enjoys playing guitar, following all levels of sports, and being a part of his local church.