New Bend snowshoers fare well at U.S. Nationals
Mendoza third among men; Howe tops the women
Mario Mendoza of Bend celebrated after competing in his first U.S. Snowshoe Nationals. The Central Oregonian finished third in the men's 10K race Saturday at Virginia Meissner Sno-Park.
"This is my first time doing snowshoeing," Mendoza said. "It was really tough, and really hard."
With Mendoza's third place finish, he now has a spot on the U.S. Team.
"I was really happy -- I was hoping to make the town proud and get a spot on the national team," Mendoza said. "So that was my goal, and it felt good."
Five-time champion Josiah Middaugh, who has won every national he's competed in, won his sixth national title, with a time of 47 minutes and 8 seconds, followed by Eric Hartmark of Duluth, Minn., and Mendoza.
On the women's side, a familiar name in Bend sports -- just like Mendoza, new to snowshoeing -- fared even better, as Stephanie Howe won the senior women's event with a time of 1 hour, 14 seconds, followed by Brandy Erholtz of Evergreen, Colo., and Carolyn Stocker of Westfield, N.Y.
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