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Why Taylor?

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2017 MINNESOTA MULTISPORT AWARDS - This was a fun category!

We're talking about JUNIOR OF THE YEAR, which was won by TAYLOR LUNDQUIST, 18, of Maple Grove, who bulldozed her competition in the last half of the season.

There was SO much Junior talent this year that it was harder than usual to narrow the field to four official nominees. The Committee ultimately selected three of the more prolific and consistent juniors--ANDERS BROMAN, 17, Eagan, CARTER DEICHMAN, 16, Mankato, and LUNDQUIST--over the more mercurial athletes who raced less often or had inconsistent results.

We added GARRETT WELSCH, 19, Redwing, to the list of nominees because the guy is just plain fast. In the beginning of the season he appeared to be the slam dunk JOY choice. His performances at Liberty Olympic (4th overall), and his junior CRs at Lake Waconia and Minneapolis were outstanding. But he only raced one more time, that event being Nationals, where his performance wasn't up to his usual standards. A good race there would have kept him in the running for JOY, otherwise he'd have to have added 1-2 more regional events to his resume, and excel at those.

Meanwhile, Broman was demonstrating that he is faster than he was in 2016 and 2015, and even won a race outright (Moose Lake).

Then there was Deichman, who by early August appeared to be the guy who would win the award. By that time, he had divisional wins at Falls Du, Heart of the Lakes, Chisago Sprint, and would  go on to claim AG titles at North Mankato, Young Life Sprint, Maple Grove Sprint, Hopkins Royal and One Last Tri.

That should have done it, right? In most years a resume like Carter's would have secured the trophy.

But not this year. After losing to fellow juniors at Lake Waconia, Timberman and Heart of the Lakes, Lundquist put the hammer down in late July, racing in seven tris, winning the junior titles in each event. Not only that, she was the outright women's winner of three of those contests: Big Lake Sprint, Young Life Sprint and Blaine. In 11 starts in 2017, Taylor cracked the women's Top 10 ten...

times, and reached the overall women's podium on six of those outings. In the process, she broke at least four junior CRs.

Taylor Lundquist blossomed right in front of our eyes in 2017. It was inspiring. As with Rookie of the Year Keeghan Hurley, all of the Selectors supported Taylor for the JOY.

Three of this year's juniors will be eligible for JOY nominations next year, and the competition should be even tougher. The MTN Guys and the MMA Committee are already looking forward to 2018.

 

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