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Former UCS academic, athletic standout stays on winning track
Former UCS academic, athletic standout stays on winning track
Posted on 10/26/2021
Berg running in the marathon

Utica Community Schools graduate Eric Berg is one who always goes the distance when it comes to meeting his life goals.

A valedictorian, award winning UCS track athlete and now Michigan State University Honors student, Berg set his sights on completing a marathon injury free.

He not only met the goal and then some at the Detroit Free Press marathon on October 16 – finishing 18th  out of the 12, 849 participants.

When I think about the accomplishment, I feel a great sense of joy,” he said. “A lot of sacrifice went into making this goal possible for me, so it feels great to see it come to fruition.”

Berg completed the marathon in 2:45:49, which also qualified him for the Boston Marathon.

He credited much of the confidence to take a new challenge on his UCS background, where he achieved success in the classroom and on the track.

As a student at the Gene L. Klida Academy for International Studies, Berg graduated in 2021 as a valedictorian and further earned the rigorous International Diploma. As a Utica High School member of track and cross country teams, he was a two-time Academic All County and State Qualifier.

The academic and athletic opportunities that I was granted as a student at the GLK-UAIS and an athlete at Utica High School enabled me to be confident enough to pave my own path,” Berg said. “In particular, the guidance I received from my former track and cross-country coach, Megan Berry, enabled me to achieve my goals.”

Coach Berry said Berg approached the run with the same commitment he demonstrated as a high school athlete.

He has an outstanding work ethic,” she said.  “Most of his marathon training he did by himself, which is incredibly hard to do, especially when you do a long training run of 20+ miles. He set a goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon and never lost sight of it. I feel very blessed that many of my former runners have continued with running as a lifelong sport. Eric has truly found joy in running and inspires me, as I hope I inspired him as his coach.”

Berg’s training consisted of running 1,300 miles in an 18-week span. He also joined the cross country club at MSU, where he currently attends the Honors College in pursuit of an actuarial science degree.

As far as the future as a runner, he said he is focused on the Boston Marathon this spring and plans to continue training for future events.

I uphold this lifestyle for the simple fact that I love it,” he said.