Mary Beth Berg

usa United States
Grayslake, IL
College of William and Mary
Season: 2016

Collegiate career

Mary Beth Berg capped off her four-year career as a captain of College of William & Mary’s track & field team, despite hardly ever racing. Early in her sophomore year she began showing a bizarre array of symptoms that derailed her training. A series of specialists failed to determine the issue or the cause. Eventually she was correctly diagnosed with mold poisoning, traced back to the condition of her student-housing.

After prolonged and intensive treatment, her condition improved to where she could resume regular training. That lasted barely a few months before her SUV was rear-ended on I-64 by an 18-wheeler. She suffered a non-displaced compound fracture of her left femur. She did not know this immediately, though. Mary Beth ran on the two days following the collision before going to a doctor to make sure the accident did not cause any significant damage.

Recovery from the fracture allowed her to train minimally with her team before graduating in May 2015.

How she came to Austin TC: Mary Beth Berg

Mary Beth Berg’s collegiate career at College of William & Mary had few bright spots. One of them was her year under the tutelage of coach Brian Hunter.

Hunter was an NCAA champion pole vaulter at the University of Texas and two-time Olympic Trials qualifier. Even though William and Mary hired him to coach vaulters and jumpers, he ended up as Mary Beth’s de facto individual coach. Hunter returned to Austin after stepping away from coaching.

Knowing that Mary Beth had plenty of races left in her and lost time to make up as an athlete, Hunter encouraged her to look into professional and semi-professional clubs. Given his connections to Austin, he recommended the Austin TC.

Mary Beth sent an e-mail to the club, providing a teaser to the rather belief-defying story of her collegiate career. The teaser sufficiently aroused manager George Perry’s curiosity to get the full story over the phone.

After that conversation, at Mary Beth’s insistence, Perry called Hunter to validate her story and ambitions (trust but verify is a way of life). Having never heard a coach describe an athlete the way Hunter described Berg, her place on the squad was assured.

Outside, beyond and after track

Mary Beth free-lances with Somni, a start-up founded by two of her four brothers (all NCAA athletes).