Tedstrom, Ortiz to represent Battle Mountain at state | VailDaily.com

Tedstrom, Ortiz to represent Battle Mountain at state

Ian Smith
ismith@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado
SPT Amelia Ortiz DT 5-13-09
ALL |

EAGLE-VAIL, Colorado ” Connor Tedstrom already owns a state title, while Amelia Ortiz is making her first trip to Denver.

Still, the two Battle Mountain athletes have the same goal at the state track meet ” get on the podium.

“I’m pretty excited to represent (Battle Mountain),” Tedstrom said. “It’s going to be fun.”

Tedstrom will compete in the 800 meter run, and Ortiz will take off in the 3,200. Both events are today.

The stage should feel familiar for Tedstrom. Last season, the junior helped the Huskies win a state title in the 3,200 relay. Now, Tedstrom is hoping to reach the podium in the open 800.

“It was a good experience as a sophomore,” Tedstrom said. “Hopefully, I can draw off that experience and bring it with me this year.”

Knowing he needs to finish in less than two minutes, Tedstrom plans on keeping a fast pace on his first lap then going all-out on his second time around the oval.

“Last year, he was kind of the new guy that had stars in his eyes,” Battle Mountain coach Laurie Kleisinger said. “He handled it really well. This year, it was fun watching him race at that high level. He knows what it takes.”

While Tedstrom returns to Denver with a state crown, Ortiz is competing for the first time. Only a sophomore, it likely won’t be her last trip to Denver.

“She showed dramatic improvement,” Kleisinger said. “We could tell last year that she was a good runner.

“It’s been a treat watching her improve and work hard. She deserves everything she’s getting because she works so hard in practice.”

Ortiz continued to get faster as the season progressed. From the start of the year until state, she has dropped more than a minute off her 3,200 time.

The key for her at state will be just running her race and not worrying about what the other athletes are doing, Kleisinger said.

“Right now, I’m seeded seventh,” Ortiz added. “I really want to get fifth or fourth. That would be really cool.

“It’s really the sixth and seventh lap (that are the most important),” Ortiz said. “On the eighth lap, adrenaline will kick in. The sixth and seventh are just mentally tough.”

Tedstrom and Ortiz may be the only Huskies running at the state meet today, but that doesn’t mean they will be alone. A host of teammates will also be making the trip to cheer them on.

Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or ismith@vaildaily.com.