Finishing up his final campaign running for the Buccaneers, Berhe has been a mainstay for the program for head coach Barry Dancher.
“TK has become one of the leaders of Mission Bay's cross country team,” Dancher commented. “He has done so through his exemplary running, as well as his dedication and perseverance to our program. His dedication to running and his work ethic has become an example for all those on our team to strive for.”
Through all his hard work, Berhe is now among Mission Bay's all-time top 10 cross country runners at almost all distances.
According to Dancher, Berhe has been all City League for the past several years.
“We hope TK achieves all-league status once again this year,” Dancher said recently. “Another goal is for TK to qualify for this year's CIF State Championships in Fresno (Nov. 30). I'm confident that through his never give up attitude and hard work, he will achieve this. We will miss TK Berhe next year, but his legacy will remain with us for a very long time.”
Beach & Bay Press recently caught up with Berhe for an interview.
BBP: How did you get started in cross country?
Berhe: When I was in third grade, I participated in a jog-a-thon at my elementary school. My goal was to run as hard as I can to see how many laps I could do in 40 minutes and hopefully get a medal for being the top in the class. I ended up being the top runner at the school and earned the biggest medal I ever witnessed. That’s when I knew I wanted to pursue running in the future for as long as I can.
BBP: Being your senior season, what goals did you have coming into this year both for you and the team?
Berhe: The goal I had coming into cross country season was to get top five at CIF and advance to go to the state championships in Fresno. As a team I wanted us to get top three and have the whole team go to the state championships.
BBP: What is a ‘typical’ week for you during season?
Berhe: I would usually run 65-70 miles in a typical week before a race. I would have a long run Sunday, which would be 12-14 miles; run only four miles Monday to rest before my league race. On Tuesday, I run a light-paced two miles in the morning to wake the legs up, do a mile warm-up before I start then run my league race.
Wednesday, I run eight miles in the morning followed by four in the afternoon. Thursday, I run four to six miles in the morning then do a hill workout at Kate Sessions Park in the afternoon. Friday, I run 6-8 miles in the morning and four miles in the afternoon. Then Saturday, I do a track workout of mile or 800m repeats.
BBP: Are you planning to go to college next year and were at? If so, would you like to run cross country?
Berhe: I am still undecided where I want to go to school but ideally I want to go to a school in California so I can be near home and not pay out of state tuition. I am willing to go to school out of state if it means I can run competitively at a good college. Two of my dream schools that are in state are Stanford and UCLA. That is for their strong academics and high-level competition. I want to strive and earn a scholarship to run at a good school, but I will be more than happy to get into a university for only academics.
BBP: For any boys or girls looking to come out for the program next season, what advice would you give them?
Berhe: Some advice I would give to the students going into the cross country program is run a lot of miles before you join cross country. It will feel so much better and less painful when the season comes because you are already mentally and physically prepared to run. Those are the two key things you need in cross country. Just try your best on the team and naturally you will progress to be a great athlete.