Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Brooke Hovey top Yank in Birkie

Engen 18th in Wisconsin 51k race

She's one of the best Americans to ever compete in the Subaru American Birkebeiner—and Brooke Hovey of Ketchum did it again Saturday.

Team Rossignol racer Hovey, 33, was fourth overall among women and the top American Saturday in the 33rd running of the Subaru American Birkebeiner 51-kilometer Nordic ski race in Wisconsin.

Hovey was also the top American woman in last year's Birkie, third overall behind two Italians. She was the third woman in the 2003 Birkie from Cable to Telemark, and the runner-up woman back in 2002.

Boulder Mountain Ski Tour women's queen in 2006 and 2004, Hovey (2.31:01) was 101st overall among the 4,226 Birkie finishers Saturday. Ahead were three Italians led by Anna Santer, 30, 41st in 2.24:05.

The nine other Wood River Valley skiers among the 21 from Idaho in Saturday's Birkie also did well.

World Masters king Jon Engen, 48, won his age class and finished 18th overall in 2.17:41. Repeating as men's champion in a photo finish was 31-year-old Marco Cattaneo of Italy in 2.08:56.8. Local John King, 31, was 25th overall and eighth in his age class with a 2.21:35 time.

Other locals and their results on a day when over 6,700 skiers started the Birkbeiner and Kortelopet:

145—Will Hovey, 36 (28th class) 2.35:56. 353—Brian Elkins, 50 (29th) 2.50:23. 540—Jim Santa, 45 (71st) 3.00:06. 655—Darla McRoberts, 39 (9th class, 43rd woman) 3.04:52. 689—Patrick Simpson, 54 (78th) 3.06:15. 1663—Frances St. Onge, 33 (13th, 152nd woman) 3.41:56. 2022—Peter Maier, 65 (12th) 3.54:29.

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