Ortiz ties Ghent for school record | VailDaily.com

Ortiz ties Ghent for school record

Bob Shearon | Special to the DailyBattle Mountain's Mandy Ortiz, left, hits the 1-mile mark on her way to tying the school mark for 5K at Friday's Liberty Bell meet in Denver. She finished with a time of 18 minutes, 38 seconds.

DENVER – Make a little room, Erika Ghent, because you’ve got company.

Battle Mountain’s Mandy Ortiz tied Ghent’s school record for a 5K cross-country run with a time of 18 minutes, 38 seconds at Friday’s Liberty Bell meet down in Denver.

And if you’re wondering, both Battle Mountain cross country and the Vail Daily did not record tenths or hundredths of seconds back in 2004 when Ghent originally set the mark, so as Huskies coach Rob Parish said, “We will call it a tie.”

Ortiz is not new to the board in the gym. In track, she already has the 1,600-meter mark and is part of the 3,200-relay record. But this is another nice notch in her belt.

“I didn’t know when I finished that I had tied it,” Ortiz said. “When I found out, I was really excited.”

“Congrats to Mandy,” Parish said. “She’s an incredibly talented runner. But more so, she’s dedicated herself to this quest.”

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Congratulations to the entire Huskies girls team, which won its division of 23 teams Friday.

Val Constien was fourth in 19:11, followed by Sydney Gaylord (10th, 19:37), Bridgett Courtois, (16th, 20:02), Christina Shearon (32nd, 20:54), Jenai Denardo (61st, 21:43) and Adriana Farnen (86th, 22:07).

On the positive side of the ledger, every Battle Mountain varsity runner posted a personal record. However, Parish said, the girls winning the Liberty Bell in September, while an accomplishment, is not the end goal.

“We’re going to continue to develop our depth with our fifth, sixth and seventh runners,” the coach said. “We still have our foot on the gas pedal. We’re still concerned about our fitness at the end of the season. That’s what we’re primarily working on.”

The guys took 11th out of 23 teams in their race. Not only is their depth improving, but Parish is pleased to see four of his seven varsity runners already in the 17-minute range in September.

“They’re poised to have a strong five or six weeks coming up,” Parish said.

David Suarez was 27th in 17:05, followed by Joe Barrett (45th, 17:34), Ethan Cotton (61st, 17:53), Ethan Pence (63rd, 17:57), Cameron Moore (70th, 18:11), Josh Braun (71st, 18:13) and Ricardo Arreola (97th, 18:54)

Battle Mountain’s next meet is Friday at the John Martin Invite in Fort Collins.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or cfreud@vaildaily.com.