Colorado Year In Review: Bergen Comes Oh So Close To Sub-4

Imagine running 4:00.48, and not breaking your school record.

That was the case for Niwot's Zane Bergen last June.

Regardless, Bergen's performance at the Brooks PR Invitational made him second-fastest Colorado miler ever, and ironically enough - the second-fastest Niwot miler ever behind Cruz Culpepper's 4:00.10.

Bergen's 4:00.48 is the fastest ever by a Coloradan - outdoors.

Of additional note, Bergen broke 4:10 in Colorado twice, and won the 800 at the NSAF Outdoor Nationals in 1:49.18 in 2022.

Excerpt from Zane Bergen Comes Oh So Close With 4:00.48 Mile At Brooks PR

When the bell rang out Zane Bergen had 58-seconds until the clock would tick pass four-minutes.

2022 has clearly become the Year of the Mile, because the four-minute barrier has taken a beating in recent weeks. 

The boy's mile at the Brooks PR Invitational capped the day in Seattle, Wash., as the coveted Four Minute Mile would be attacked once more - that much was clear from the opening strides.

Taking the pacing duties was Gary Martin, who was fresh off his own 3:57 mile from two weeks ago. He set the pace just under 60-seconds through the opening lap.

The honest pace strung the pack out quickly. Bergen sat in fourth, bidding his time. 

Halfway through the race he remained in fourth, and on pace for a 4:02 - he passed the 800 in 2:01 with several others nipping at his heels as they ran onwards into the furthest lap from the finish - the third.

Bergen took those crisp, business-like strides around the track and prepared to attack not just the clock, but the field.

With 500 to go Bergen slid out into Lane 2 and launched into his kick.

The Niwot senior took the bell with 3:02 on the clock, but plenty of pounce still in his stride.

The final lap went to the kickers, and Bergen wasn't entirely alone - Simeon Birnbaum was in the hunt. 

Devan Kipyego made a bid for the lead as they rounded the track with 200 to go. For a brief moment, Bergen went from being hunted, to back to hunting. 

With 160 to go Bergen went to the arms. With traffic now across the track, he had to once again slide out to Lane 2.

He inched his way back into the lead, but there was still Birnabuam who would be the last to kick.

Birnabuam went on to become the fifth runner in 2022 to break the four-minute marker, running 3:59.51. And as fate would have this race, Bergen would use all 58-seconds of that final 400, to come agonizingly close to achieving the feat himself, as he finished second in 4:00.48 for a US No. 6.

The time was a two-second PR for the Niwot senior. He ran 4:02.64 for the full-mile at the New Balance Nationals Indoor in March.

For Bergen's efforts, his 4-flat performance - while it came up short of his initial goal - it did make for one of Colorado's Top Storylines of 2022.