Berggren wins battle with Krieg in 1,600
Going into Friday’s Class 3A Region 6 track meet at Stocker Stadium, Grand Valley’s state title contender Brandi Krieg and Middle Park’s three-time state champion Samantha Berggren had heard of each other but never raced.
With Grand Valley having moved up to 3A this year, the two finally got to share the same track when they raced in the 1,600-meter run, with Berggren crossing the finish line in front of Krieg.
“I was nervous,” Krieg said. “I just wanted to see if I could hang with her because I know she’s a really great runner. A win would have been nice, but I’ve got one more meet in state.”
Krieg held her own throughout the race, trailing just behind Berggren the majority of the race. Berggren finished just under four seconds ahead of Krieg.
“I definitely expected her to push me,” Berggren said.
The duo could very well see each other again next weekend with both having qualified for the 1,600-meter run at the state meet at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood.
“State is definitely going to be very competitive, especially in the mile.” Berggren said.
Both runners are sophomores and have experienced state before — Berggren won the 200, 400, and 800 meter races at last year’s 3A state championships and placed second in the 1,600 meters. Krieg, whose Cardinals were in 2A last year, placed fifth in the 1,600 meters and fourth in the 3,200 .
With the Cardinals up a class since last year, the competition will be different, although Krieg isn’t worried.
“It’s definitely more challenging,” Krieg said. “I like it because it’s only making me better.
You can only be the best if you run with the best.
“The competition is really deep in 3A for distance, so I just hope I do good. That’s all I could hope for, to get on the podium, maybe.”
Forty-three schools converged on Stocker Stadium on Friday for the first of two days of competition. The Southwestern League and 4A Western Slope League were holding league championships and the 3A and 2A teams were conducting their state qualifying meets.
Jamie Pomaski of Central won the SWL girls discus by nearly seven feet with a throw of 113 feet, 3 inches.
Fruita Monument finished one-two in the boys high jump with Brett Peterson taking the event at 6-feet, edging teammate Mike Campbell by two inches.
Grand Junction got a first place from Randy Brown in the triple jump with a leap of 44-4.
Palisade’s Chris Lopez won the boys 800 meters in the WSL meet, edging Ryan Buchanan of Glenwood Springs by less than a half second.
Palisade’s Holly Odneal won the high jump at 5-2, tying Delta’s Katie Chapman but winning on the basis of fewer misses.
Palisade also got a first place from Nick Stephanus in the boys discus. His throw of 142-3 won by nearly 12 feet.