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Local Sports

Baxter’s Berg runs his way to Central College

Baxter senior Logan Berg qualified for the state cross country meet four times in his career. His next challenge is competing in cross country and track and field at Central College.
Baxter senior Logan Berg qualified for the state cross country meet four times in his career. His next challenge is competing in cross country and track and field at Central College.

Logan Berg was a two-sport athlete at Baxter High School. But he was constantly doing those sports all year long and he can continue to do it after his college career is over.

Berg is a runner. And a very good one. His future will be at Central College as he will compete for the Dutch cross county and track and field teams.

He chose the Dutch over Simpson and Dordt. Berg said he also considered going to Iowa State to focus just on academics.

“I decided to major in engineering and Central has that program,” Berg said. “I also wanted to compete at the next level and Coach (Joe) Dunham was very interested in coaching me.”

Berg also knows a couple of the guys on the team, and they both speak very highly of the program and school. One of them is former teammate Ian Thomson, who started his journey at Central last year.

“Ian speaks very highly of Central,” Berg said. “He has always tried to convince me to go there. He told me the coaches were amazing, the team is friendly and they like to have fun as much as they like to run. They also have an amazing food court.”

Two of Berg’s coaches at Central will be Joe Dunham and Brandon Sturman. Dunham is the head cross country coach and associate head track and field coach. Sturman is the head track and field coach and assistant cross country coach.

Berg is a four-time state qualifier in cross country and two-timer in track and field.

His best finish in cross country was 17th as a junior for Baxter in 2018. He also ran at the state meet for Collins-Maxwell/Baxter.

“Logan’s accomplishments and success go well beyond the achievements of being conference champion, a four-time state qualifier and three-time all conference runner,” Baxter cross country coach Dennis Vaughn said.

“Sure, he won several meets and earned many awards and recognition, but this does not tell the whole story. Logan is the most self-driven athlete I have ever had the honor of coaching, and he is a young man with meritorious character.” 

His state track resume includes the 4x800-meter relay and 1,600 as a sophomore and the 800, 1,600, 3,200 and 4x800 relay as a junior.

His best finish came last year as he was ninth in the 3,200.

Baxter track and field coach Josh Russell recalls specifically a situation last season when Berg could have focused on himself and put all of his efforts into an individual event during the state qualifier.

But Berg chose to also compete in a relay to help some teammates advance to state.

“The image I will always remember of Logan’s career is the state qualifying meet his junior year,” Russell said. “He was sitting fifth in the state rankings in the 3,200 and our 4x800 was on the bubble of getting in. Without his leg, we probably fall short. Those two events run back-to-back in the order. He goes out and crushes his PR and the school record in the closely contested 3,200 to qualify and then comes back about 15 minutes later and anchors the 4x800 to a qualifying mark as well. He risked his own personal goals for the good of his friends and teammates. That is Logan in a nutshell — a selfless teammate and fearless warrior.” 

Unfortunately, his senior year was wiped out due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Logan is one of the most resilient, driven athletes I have ever had the privilege of coaching,” Russell said. “I have talked to him many times since spring break and even though he is bummed to miss his opportunity this spring, he is focusing on what is still in front of him — his college running career.”

Berg said he wants to try middle distance events in college track.

“As much as I like the endurance races, I also really love races that combine speed and endurance,” Berg said. “I would be willing to run anything from an 800 to a 5K.”

Russell believes Central is getting a great athlete, student and leader.

“He has been a cornerstone of our program for the last four years. He is a gamer and willing to do whatever I asked to help the team be successful,” Russell said.

“That along with his athleticism give me no doubt he will be a contributor for the Dutch.”

Berg plans to major in general engineering but is not yet sure what he wants to specialize in.

“Any college would be fortunate to have Logan run for them, but even if Logan was not a talented athlete, Central is gaining the assets of a remarkable young man,” Vaughn said.

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