Norberg Chasing Teammate and Times

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Issue Date: 
April, 2018
Article Body: 

When one thinks about the King Philip boys cross country or track teams, Mike Griffin immediately comes to mind, and rightfully so. The sophomore is the Warrior’s number one runner in both cross country and the 1-mile. Getting less attention, however, is another phenomenal runner: Mike Norberg.
“Mike Griffin gets a lot of press and deservingly so,” said KP coach Chris Elgar. “He finished fourth in the state participating in the 1-mile, and is the school’s top male runner at cross country. But while Griffin is out in the forefront, we have another sophomore runner, Mike Norberg, who is overshadowed and just hanging out in the background.”
Norberg is KP’s second best male finisher when it comes to cross country and is a tremendous 2-mile runner in both winter and spring track. As a sophomore this winter, Norberg took a full 30 seconds off his 2-mile time from a year ago, bringing it down to 10:36. He has also decreased his mile time by 12 seconds, although he doesn’t run that race often.
At the Hockomock League Championships, Norberg finished fourth in the 2-mile, and running at the Class Championships he recorded his personal best time of 10:06.
“Unfortunately, he’s not as recognized despite having the fifth or sixth best time in the state because his teammate, who is also a sophomore, holds the fastest time,” Elgar said. “If it wasn’t for Griffin, Norberg would be the man; I think that’s what fuels him.”
Last year, Norberg found himself running in the middle of the pack during his freshman campaign on the cross country team. Once this season began, however, he was right behind his teammate in second place.
“I love to see Mike (Griffin) succeed, but it would be great to beat him,” Norberg said. (Norberg actually did beat Griffin once, but the top runner was suffering from heat stroke). “With him being the number one runner it takes all the pressure off me as I don’t have to be that guy. It allows me to just go out and run my race while grabbing a second or third place finish.”
While Norberg is running second, Griffin continues to be the Warriors top runner. He acknowledges the role his teammate plays in his success, however.
“Not so much in track as we run different events, but more so in cross country he pushes and motivates me to keep my number one position,” Griffin said. “Between his freshman and sophomore year he did get a lot better and I definitely see him improving over the next two years even more.”
Norberg’s first experience with the sports of track and cross country was in the seventh grade. Although he loved running, he found it painful and it turned out he needed surgery on one of his feet. Doctors had to put in two screws to alleviate the pain, and he was forced to take a year off from running. Upon his return, however, his times improved considerably from the year prior.
Mainly running the 2-mile, with the occasional mile event in track, Norberg has recorded personal best times this winter: a 4:54 in the mile and a 10:05 in the 2-mile. With the spring track season approaching, Norberg is hoping to drop those times even more. His goal, he says, is a sub 10 2-mile time and a 4:50 mile. And with two years left at KP after this track season, he’s hoping to get those times even lower.
“The way he is running, this spring he should definitely have the opportunity to lower his times,” the KP coach said. “It’s inevitable that he’ll break 4:40 in the mile and post a sub 10 in the 2-mile.”
Despite his number two slot for the Warriors, it’s clear Norberg should continue to have himself a sensational running career at King Philip.