Local racer sets women's hill climb record

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— It's just two races into the 2000 Town Challenge mountain bike race series, but Steamboat racer Amy Harris has already tasted the agony of defeat and the thrill of victory.

Two weeks ago at the season opener, Harris took a spill that forced her out of the race. But following Wednesday's Mount Werner Hill Climb, Harris was feeling no pain. The only reminder of the crash was a small glove-like support to help the healing ligaments in her hand.

"It was great. I felt good and really strong," Harris said. "The hill climb is my favorite race I love it more than any of them. I love going uphill. I hurt my hand a couple of weeks ago so I can climb, but I can't go downhill. So this was the perfect race for me."

"Perfect" was a good way to describe Harris' efforts. She powered up the 4.5-mile course in a time of 40 minutes and 17 seconds to win the women's' expert class and smash the hill climb record. Katherine Zambrana set that mark a couple of year's ago with a time of 41:42.

"That was my goal and I'm really excited," Harris said of breaking Zambrana's mark.

Harris was chased in the race by second-place finisher Sarah Fisher at 46:07 and Regina Froemmling at 48:28 in third.

The men's race was won by Ian Pritchard who finished the race at 33:44. Barkley Robinson was second at 37:03 and Doug Demusz came in third with a time of 39:12.

Other winners in the hill climb included J.R. Thompson in the men's expert vet class. He finished with a time of 34:11 to beat out second-place finisher Jamie Morgan and third-place racer Brain Hannon.

Mark Iverson won the men's sport class, Marc Sehler topped the men's expert master class and David Dunlop won the men's sport master class.

In the men's novice, Ryan Lightner topped the field, Angelo Cilli won the men's novice masters, David Visnazk claimed the men's novice veteran and Wayne Ranieri topped the men's sport veteran group.

On the women's side, it was Liz Rostermudt winning the women's sport, Brooke Leary topped the women's novice and Shelly Bonner took top honors in the women's sport veteran. Peter Hudnut topped the junior 13-and over class.

To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail jrussell@amigo.net

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