Playing ice hockey was the sport of choice for Michael Sonderegger when he entered high school, but at the urging of a classmate, he decided to try out for the boys cross country team his sophomore year at Park Vista.
"A friend of mine convinced me to come out to keep in shape for hockey," Sonderegger said.
Park Vista cross country coach Dan Barry is happy Sonderegger stuck with distance running. The senior led the Cobras to the most successful season in the program's history, winning the boys team titles at the county and regional meets for the first time. Sonderegger has been selected as the boys Cross Country Runner of the Year.
Although he didn't clock the fastest time in the county, Sonderegger was undoubtedly the most consistent runner this season. He was runner-up at the Palm Beach County Championships with a time of 16:26.69, placed fourth at the regional meet in 16:29.33 and covered the 5K course at the Class 4A state meet in 16:27.34 to place 28th. He then timed 16:18 in near-freezing conditions at the Foot Locker Championships in North Carolina.
"That's one of the great things about him. It didn't matter what kind of day he was having, you knew he was going to put in the effort," Barry said of Sonderegger. "It's pretty impressive that a high school runner could be that consistent throughout a whole season."
Barry said he noticed last spring during track season that Sonderegger was "making some strides." So Barry talked with Sonderegger about becoming a leader and that it would require him to step up his training regimen.
"He was a man of few words, but when he did speak up, the others listened, and he did everything he was asked to do," Barry said.
"I gave everything every workout," said Sonderegger, who wants to study finance in college.