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Story Last modified at 11:14 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fritz the hottest skier at 'the Beach'
Annual fun ski a prelude to spring break

By MATT TUNSETH
Alaska Star

photo:Sports

(Clockwise from front) Kiley Dennis, Pilar Pecina, Ihn Altenburg and Kadence Barnett, Eagle River Junior Nordic Polar Cub skiers, warm up before their race with toe touches Feb. 27 at the Beach Lake Ski Trails.
STAR PHOTO by MELISSA DeVAUGHN

Lauren Fritz's streamlined approach to her racing attire helped the former Eagle River High star to a big victory at the annual "Ski the Beach" community race at the Beach Lake Trails on Feb. 27.

Donning a two-piece bikini over her racing tights, Fritz blazed around the 15-kilometer freestyle course in 50 minutes, 17.6 seconds to win the annual event, which featured races ranging from one to 15 kilometers in length.

Joshua Smith won the men's race in a time of 51:22.8, but the fastest time of the day went to boys race winner Davis Dunlap, who clocked in at 47 minutes, 14.1 seconds.

A 22-year-old former college standout at Middlebury (Vt.) College, Fritz beat former women's race champ Sheryl Loan by nearly four minutes.

This year's races, as is the custom, featured a tropical theme. Many competitors wore Hawaiian garb, and surf music and reggae blared from the sound system set up outside the Beach Lake chalet.

Eagle River's Shane Hargis decided to ski the entire 15-kilometer course in a pair of shorts.

"I had to. It's for the beach," Hargis said shortly after crossing the finish line in third place.

Cathy Christy, 60, won the women's 7-kilometer race by more than two minutes over Dana Glessner. Christy was the oldest women's racer in the field.

Amanda Del Frate edged sister Kimberly in the girls' 7-kilometer race, while Roan Hall won the boys 7-K event by five minutes over second-place finisher Brock Fitzgerald.

More than 70 racers – ranging in age from toddlers to 64-year-old Frank Moore – entered this year's event. With its festive atmosphere and laid-back vibe, men's entrant Blaine Smith of Eagle River said his only regret was that Sunday's race was his first.

"I'm sorry I didn't start doing it four years ago," Smith said.

Ski the Beach

Feb. 27, Beach Lake Trails

Women's 15K – 1. Lauren Fritz, 50:17.6; 2. Sheryl Loan, 54:03.1; 3. Erika Downs, 55:40.2; 4. Heidi Zimmer, 58:36.9; 5. Kristy Smith, 1:00:7.8

Women's 7K – 1. Kathy Christy, 33:44.1; 2. Dana Glessner, 36:07.4; 3. Lilli Cintes-Flesher, 36:07.8; 4. Christine Carsten, 39:04.0; 5. Svetlana Moore, 51:00.0; 6. Katie Sechrist, 52:34.6; 7. Joy Sexton, 57:14.8; 8. Yumi Altenburg, 1:04:07.6; 9. Denise Demetre, 1:12:18.2; 10. Michelle Pecina, 1:20:50.3

Girls 7K – 1. Amanda Del Frate, 26:03.3; 2. Kimberly Del Frate, 27:05.3; 3. Annie Connelly, 37:38.2; 4. Victoria Parsons, 44:52.8; 5. Alyssa Hargis, 45:30.5; 6. Reilly Hall, 51:08.1

Men's 15K – 1. Joshua Smith, 51:22.8; 2. Mike Beiergrohslein, 54:08.5; 3. Shane Hargis, 57:04.4; 4. Steve Bay, 58:30.9; 5. Gino Del Frate, 59:36.3; 6. Blaine Smith, 1:00:43.1; 7. Jerry Hupp, 1:03:56.9; 8. Andy Hall, 1:04:30.7; 9. Chris Tomsen, 1:06:06.3; 10. Gene Backus, 1:11:45.3; 11. Brent Voorhees, 1:12:18.8; 12. Frank Moore, 1:12:37.3; 13. Dale Berry, 1:16:51.1; 14. Ed Lassalle, 1:19:50.6; 15. Grady Pennell, 1:21:18.3.

Boys 15K – 1. Davis Dunlap, 47:14.1; 2. Sven Maakestad, 1:19:07.4

Men's 7K – 1. Eric Sees, 26:04.9; 2. John Wood, 28:55.5; 3. Adam Muggli, 30:43.3; 4. James Singleton, 30:59.4; 5. Matthew Johnson, 33:10.7; 6. Jim Kazuba, 33:38.4; 7. Stephen Wilson, 33:47.9; 8. Brian Shimek, 38:36.4

Boys 7K – 1. Roan Hall, 29:26.0; 2. Brock Fitzgerald, 34:25.1; 3. Trygve Maakestad, 34:26.9; 4. Derek Steele, 36:28.7; 5. Chris Limeres, 43:11.4; 6. Michael Altenburg, 46:21.5; 7. Luke Arthur, 46:30.9; 8. Mark Connelly, 51:54.9



This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, March 2, 2011.