GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. CLICK HERE TO TURN ON NOTIFICATIONS.

X

Cross country: Niwot’s Zane Bergen nails down individual title, Cougars teams sweep 4A

Centaurus boys finish third overall

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Zane Bergen, top, of Niwot, wins the 4A boys title after a DQ during the 4A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Kailer Smith, of Centaurus, collapses after finishing the 4A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Cole Thomas, left, of Lyons, finishes the 2A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Quin Gregg, of Lyons, needs help at the finish line during the 2A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Mia Mraz, of Legacy, appears surprise as she crosses the finish line during the 5A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: during the 5A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Sierra Parks, of Broomfield, during the 5A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Maelynn Higgins, of Broomfield, during the 5A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Allison Beasley, of Peak to Peak, finished 3rd during the 3A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Henry Murphy, of Fairview, during the 5A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Lucas Haug, left, of Boulder High, and Henry Murphy, right, of Fairview, during the 5A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: James Thomas, of Broomfield, during the 5A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Lucas Haug, of Boulder High, during the 5A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Ryan Montera, of Legacy, during the 5A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Hannah Thomas,of Lyons finishes the 2A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Quin Gregg, of Lyons during the 2A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Hannah Thomas,of Lyons finishes the 2A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Hannah Thomas,of Lyons finishes the 2A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Cole Thomas, left, of Lyons, finishes during the 2A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Arjen Wyjna, of Lyons, during the 2A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Cliff Grassmmick/Staff Photographer

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Cole Thomas, left, of Lyons, starts during the 2A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Allison Beasley, left, of Peak to Peak, Maya Ross (318), of Jefferson Academy, and Summer Norwell (325) of Holy Family, during the 3A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Mia Prok, of Niwot, finishes second in the girls 4A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Allison Beasley, left, of Peak to Peak, Maya Ross (318), of Jefferson Academy, and Summer Norwell (325) of Holy Family, during the 3A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Alex Baca, of Gunnison, wins the 3A title during the 3A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Allison Beasley, left, of Peak to Peak, Maya Ross (318), of Jefferson Academy, and Summer Norwell (325) of Holy Family, during the 3A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Niwot's Zane Bergen, top, crosses the finish line in disbelief at the Class 4A boys state championship race after being tripped by Green Mountain's Grahm Tuohy-Gados seconds beforehand. Niwot protested the finish, and Bergen was declared the winner as a result of the Tuohy-Gados' disqualification for impeding the path of Bergen.

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Jacob Crookston, of Jefferson Academy, finishes 18th during the 3A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Jack Culp, of Holy Family finishes 10th during the 3A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Alex Baca, of Gunnison, wins the 3A title during the 3A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Mia Prok, left, of Niwot, finishes second in the girls 4A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Mia Prok, of Niwot, finishes second in the girls 4A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Zane Bergen, top, of Niwot, wins the 4A boys title after a DQ during the 4A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Taylor James, left, of Niwot, during the 4A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Keegan Caldwell, of Mead, finishes 9th during the 4A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Zane Bergen, top, of Niwot, wins the 4A boys title after a DQ during the 4A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Mia Prok, of Niwot, finishes second in the girls 4A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Zane Bergen, top, of Niwot, wins the 4A boys title after a DQ during the 4A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Zane Bergen, top, of Niwot, wins the 4A boys title after a DQ during the 4A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Niwot's Mia Prok, right, begins her wave at the Class 4A state cross country championships Saturday at the Norris Penrose Event Center. Prok, a freshman, went on to place second overall as NHS won its third consecutive girls team title.

  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -October 17, 2020: Zane Bergen, top, of Niwot, wins the 4A boys title after a DQ during the 4A Colorado State Cross Country Championships at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs on October 17, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

of

Expand
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

COLORADO SPRINGS – At the end of an eventful morning at the Colorado cross country state championships, the Niwot squad accomplished what it went down to Norris Penrose Event Center to do.

Both the Cougars boys and girls teams defended their Class 4A team titles.

The boys, despite graduating several of their top runners from 2019, did so with junior Zane Bergen winning the individual championship by way of a dramatic disqualification. The girls won their third straight team championship with freshman Mia Prok finishing runner-up in her state meet debut.

“Coming into the last half a mile, I knew it was going to be a physical finish,” Bergen said. “It had been for the entire race. Coming through the water area and getting up into the stadium, I knew I could get him. Getting shoved up against the side, wasn’t the best thing. But I got knocked down, looked up and I knew I had to put my head down and finish the race for the team.

“The individual win is just the icing on the cake. Two team titles is what matters most.”

A close second coming into the home stretch of the 4A boys race, Bergen made a move to pass Green Mountain’s Grahm Tuohy-Gados with just under 100 meters to go as they entered the stadium at Norris Penrose. As he did, Tuohy-Gados moved far to his right and physically blocked Bergen from passing him. When Bergen attempted to pass Tuohy-Gados by moving back in the other direction, he appeared to trip over Tuohy-Gados’ feet and fell. After the race, Tuohy-Gados was disqualified for impeding another runner and Bergen was named champion.

Despite the fall, Bergen still set a 4A course record of 15 minutes, 29.5 seconds. The previous record was set in 2019 by Niwot’s Cruz Culpepper.

The finish of the 4A girls race was much more amenable.

Niwot’s Mia Prok, right, begins her wave at the Class 4A state cross country championships Saturday at the Norris Penrose Event Center. Prok, a freshman, went on to place second overall as NHS won its third consecutive girls team title.

Air Academy freshman Bethany Michalak took home the title with a time of 17:59.1 and right behind her was Niwot freshman Mia Prok, who finished in 18:02.4. The two have been competing against one another for several years between club and middle school, and it would appear they will continue their friendly rivalry at the high school level for years to come.

“I love having Bethany to race against and be friends with,” Prok said. “She’s just so nice and obviously so fast. We’ve raced against each other a lot and I’ve gotten to know her and how she races. I hadn’t raced her yet this year so it was good to have this race come down to us.”

With sophomore Madison Shults placing ninth with a time of 19:11.7, the Niwot girls brought home the team title with a score of 55. Battle Mountain was runner-up with a score of 93 and Silver Creek was seventh with 220.

The Niwot boys landed three runners – Bergen, Grayden Rauba (15:42.5) and Curtis Volf (15:51.1) – in the top 10 to claim the title with a score of 36. Cheyenne Mountain was second with a score of 63.

With senior James Overberg leading the way with a fifth-place time of 15:43.0, the Centaurus boys finished third in the team scoring.

“Considering I was in the second wave, it was a little harder because I was running by myself and running against ghosts,” Overberg said. “But I felt good with everything considered. It wasn’t the ideal conditions or circumstances I had hoped for my senior year, but I just tried to do the best with what I could.”

Mead’s Keegan Caldwell placed ninth in the boys race with a time of 15:43.0.