2013 Hall of Honor inductee Mishael Berger
Jan. 16, 2013
NOTE: This is the third in a four-part series on the 2013 inductees into the UT Arlington Athletics Hall of Honor.
By Taylor Wright | UTAMavs.com
ARLINGTON, Texas - Mishael Berger will be inducted in to the UT Arlington Athletics Hall of Honor for her impressive contributions to the Mavericks track and field program.
The Hall of Honor induction ceremony will take place Friday, Jan. 18 at the Arlington Hilton Grand Ballroom. The other 2013 inductees are Pete Carlon, Clay Gould, and the 1990 and 1992 Southland Conference Baseball Championship teams.
Berger, who competed at UT Arlington under her maiden name Mishael Bertrand, is a product of Pottsboro High School in Pottsboro, Texas. She was recruited by several universities for her outstanding academic and athletic ability. She ultimately decided on UT Arlington and began what became a highly-decorated collegiate career.
"The students that walked around with me on my visit eventually became my college roommates," Berger said. "I felt like I fit in really well with them and when I told [UTA coach John Sauerhage] that I was interested in other schools from the Southland Conference he told me I might as well come to the champions."
As a freshman, Berger made an immediate impact on the track and field program in both the indoor and outdoor seasons. She helped lead UT Arlington to consecutive conference championships from 1999-2001. In those years, Berger won the 800-meter event in both the indoor and outdoor track seasons. She is still the current record holder at UT Arlington for both the indoor and outdoor 800m. Berger also holds the Southland Conference record in the indoor 800m event.
At the 2000 NCAA Indoor Championships, Berger captured All-American honors for her performance in the 800m. She holds three of the top five performances for the indoor 800m and ranks third in all-time performance in the outdoor 800m in Southland Conference history. In her time at UT Arlington, Berger captured six individual conference titles in the 800m.
She is one of only 14 women in the history of Southland Conference women's indoor track to be a three-time winner in any single event. Berger is also one of only 23 women in the history of Southland Conference women's outdoor track to be a three-time winner in any single event. Berger was able to translate her success as an individual runner to three relay teams that won SLC championships as well. In 2000, she qualified for the NCAA Championships in indoor and outdoor track.
"Making it to the NCAA meet was the first time I had success that advanced me to the next level," Berger said. "Looking down the line at all the other big-name jerseys was overwhelming, but was very special for me to be able to compete at that meet."
Berger's fantastic athletic ability carried her past her time as a Maverick and into competition at three consecutive U.S. Outdoor Championships. In 2004, she advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 800m event. Berger also competed in the 2005 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships and finished sixth in the semifinals with an 800m run time of 2:03.87.
She now resides in Arlington with her husband Brandon Berger, the current UTA associate head coach for men's and women's track and field. Mishael Berger graduated from UT Arlington in 2001 with a business degree and an emphasis in information systems. She is the current Assistant Athletic Director for Eligibility and Certification for the UT Arlington Mavericks.
"It truly is an honor to be an inductee for the 2013 Hall of Honor," Berger said. "After going to school here and working here, I've seen many talented athletes come through these doors. For the committee to consider me the same caliber athlete is pretty special."