Peter Borger ’18 is not the tallest, but he is certainly the fastest.
Most middle schoolers dread the day their gym class has to run the mile, but when Peter Borger was in middle school, it was one of his favorite days of the year.
“I would beat everyone in the mile,” Borger said, “so I knew that one day I would probably be a runner.”
Before running cross country, Peter played soccer and lacrosse. He did not start running cross country until high school because before, it would have been a lot of wear on his legs.
Borger has run cross country for Malvern since his freshman year. Over the past few seasons, he has worked his way up to Malvern’s number one cross country runner.
“We run 5ks, which are 3.1 miles,” Borger said. “Other schools run 3 miles, and they run 2-2.5 miles.”
The key races for Borger and captains Ryan Franks, Luke Matzke, and Zac DeStefano are the dual meets between each team in the Inter-Ac. Other key events include the Inter-Ac Championship, the invitationals leading up to Inter-Acs, and the PAISAA state meet.
To prepare for these races, the team practices six days a week. Their day off is Sunday.
“We usually do the ‘Apartment Loop’ where we go off campus, run through the retreat house and through the town of Malvern, run all the way down King Street, and then come back onto campus. It is a pretty good loop,“ Borger said.
Since his freshman year, Peter has dealt with injuries. His worst injury was a stress fracture on his lower, inner shin sophomore year, and he missed the whole season.
“I have had at least one injury except this season, knock on wood. Freshman and sophomore year I suffered from multiple injuries because I was growing,” Borger said.
Borger believes this season he has avoided injuries by limiting his running.
“Half the battle in avoiding injuries is getting a lot of sleep,” Borger said. “Also eating well, listening to the body, and taking time off to avoid the constant pounding of running are all things a runner does to stay healthy.”
Despite previous setbacks, Borger has found much success on the cross country slopes.
“At all of the big invitationals, I came in second or first. In states, I finished third because I got a cramp on the last mile and I was just dying,” Borger said.
On November 26, Borger ran in the Foot Locker Northeast Regionals in Bronx, New York at Van Cortlandt Park. At the event, Peter placed 41st out of 139 contestants ranging from freshmen to seniors.
“It was an intense but really fun race,” Borger said. “I felt really good in all of the workouts leading up to the race and I feel that I ran a great race. I am not hurting from all the training which is good too.”
Supporting Borger at the race was Mr. Michael Koenig, Malvern’s cross country and indoor/outdoor track coach.
“Peter had a great day,” Koenig said. “He was up against the best of the best, and I was happy to see what he could do against them.”
Koenig described this year’s cross country season for Peter as “a breakout season.”
“This year he stayed injury free and he grew into the role of being a team leader,” Koenig said.
“A lot of cross country coaching is trying to put a guy into a situation that simulates a race,” Koenig said. “Sometimes you train them for a race that is going to be very crowded.”
Borger wants to take running onto the next level, and his coach believes Peter has the talent.
“I want to go to a school where even if I do not run I still really like it,” Borger said.
At five-foot-six, Borger does not have the longest stride, so what makes Peter such a good runner?
“I really push myself when I am hurting,” Borger said, “and I think being able to do that makes me a good runner.”