HEAD: Ballengee knocks off Ortiz in 10K | VailDaily.com

HEAD: Ballengee knocks off Ortiz in 10K

Daily Staff Report

Ballengee, who led from start to finish, posted a time of 1 hour, 37 seconds, while Ortiz, who had claimed wins in the first two events of the series, finished with a time of 1:01:47. Third place honors on the day went to Kelli Lusk of Manitou Springs, almost five minutes off the pace set by Ballengee.

“Anita was right on my heels for the first four miles,” Ballengee said. “I’m not really sure when I pulled away, but I kept expecting her to come blowing by me because she knows this course. I knew I had to really push on the final hills, because she’s so good on the hills.”

The final hills were also a factor for men’s champion Josiah Middaugh of Vail, who edged Silt’s Bernie Boettcher by a slim 11 seconds to notch his second series win, while Paul Low of Amherst, Mass. picked up the third-place finish.

“I always forget how steep those last hills are,” Middaugh said. “It was a tough race today because of the new snow. The course was definitely slower.”

In the men’s 5K competition, Avon’s Grant Houniet took top honors, a minute and a half ahead of runner-up Nate Goldberg of Vail, while Todd Jackson of Hermosa Beach, Calif. earned the third-place finish.

Top honors in the women’s 5K went to New Castle’s Heidi Vosbeck, with a time of 29.54, with Alajandra Aldunate of Avon in second position, 12 seconds off the pace, and Denver’s Tara Biltoft in third.

Vail’s Amanda Zinn claimed the women’s Beaver Creek “Dash For Cash” 100-yard sprint, while Longmont’s Brian Gunnarson was the fastest in the men’s sprint field. Gunnarson’s daughter Breanna also captured the girl’s Kids K, while Ortiz’s son, David, bested the boy’s field.

The 2002-2003 Beaver Creek Snowshoe Adventure Series will conclude on Saturday, March 15, with the North American Snowshoe Championships.

For additional information on the Fifth Annual Beaver Creek Snowshoe Adventure Series, visit http://www.bcsnowshoe.com or call (970) 476-6797.www.gohighline.com.

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