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Wins prove to be workouts

Lisa Vaill and Owen Shott work harder than expected to capture titles in Saturday's race.


© St. Petersburg Times, published February 9, 2003

BROOKSVILLE -- Lisa Vaill simply was looking for a workout when she entered the 24th annual Flatlanders Challenge 10K race Saturday in Spring Lake, east of Brooksville.

But the veteran marathoner got two things she hadn't bargained for.

The run, on a hilly course in a slight drizzle and unseasonably cold weather, was more rigorous than she anticipated. And her time of 36 minutes, 55 seconds shattered the women's course record of 40:07 set by Carla Dolder of Gainesville in 2001.

"It was hard all the way," Vaill said. "I had to work it just to do it (Saturday)."

Fomer Citrus High runner Owen Shott was the overall winner in 33:57, 17 seconds off the record set by Clermont's Mike Greiwe last year.

Vaill, 40, of Pine Plains, N.Y., moved to Gainesville in October to train for the U.S. Olympic Trials, where she plans to compete in the marathon.

She finished about 11/2 minutes ahead of Bea Marie Altieri, 35, of Clermont, whose time of 38:20 also eclipsed Dolder's mark.

After crossing the finish line, Vaill returned to the course to offer encouragement to her twin sister, Teresa, a racewalker who is training for the Olympic Trials in the 20K race walk.

"It was a workout," Vaill said, "but a hard workout."

Shott, 22, lives in Jacksonville, where he is preparing to study sports medicine at North Florida. He received a track and field scholarship to Florida Community College at Jacksonville after graduating from Citrus in 1999, but the school dropped the program his freshman year.

Shott's first-place finish, coupled with his win at the Run for Education 5K (16:36) last month in Ocala, makes him the early leader for the $1,000 first prize in the Central Florida Road Warrior Grand Prix Series, a 10-race series that began with the Run for Education and culminates with the Paper Chase 10K Nov. 29 in Crystal River.

Shott said he used the Flatlanders race to prepare for the Gate River Run 15K national championship race March 8 in Jacksonville.

"I feel good, real good," he said. "I feel I could have gone a little bit faster, but the hills were murder."

Race organizer Chuck Boldt estimated that the event drew about 240 runners, the most in the three years since it was moved from downtown Brooksville to Spring Lake. Entrants came from as far as California and Vermont.

"I think the 10K running series had a lot to do with it," Boldt said, "because people are trying to score their points."

Wharton High runners swept the 3K Fun Run. Zack Sanchez, 17, finished first in 9:25. Erica Garrish, 15, was the women's winner in 12:38.

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