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Sean for TOY? Absolutely!

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2017 MINNESOTA MULTISPORT AWARDS - We mentioned recently that all but one of our remaining MMA explanation posts will deal with controversial categories. Today's post is about Male TRIATHLETE OF THE YEAR, which was basically non-contentious. All Selectors agreed that SEAN COOLEY was the 2017 male TOY, and they suspect that few outside the Committee would challenge the selection.

Let's break it down. Here are the nominees and comments on their seasons:

 

- NATHAN ANSBAUGH

Nate's seven races produced two wins, five total podiums and a 70.3 PR. He was ranked 3rd on Team Minnesota. A glance at his resume reveals that he was not a cherry-picker; he raced exclusively in our state's most competitive races. Conclusion: Well deserved TOY nomination.

 

- JOSH BLANKENHEIM

Blank has been Duluth's numero uno for the past three seasons. He is recognized as one of Minnesota's most consistently elite racers. In 2017 he raced six times, winning once (Brewhouse), and placing 2nd at Liberty Olympic, Heart of the Lakes and Lake Waconia. A good resume. He was 1-1 against Ansbaugh, and 0-1 against Cooley.

 

- KRIS SPOTH

In seven starts in 2017, Kris had one win--a POY-nomination worthy victory at Copper Creek--and four other podium finishes. He was also the second fastest Minnesotan at Nationals (Behind Wade Cruser). Kris faced fellow TOY nominees at Minneapolis, where he was beaten by Cooley and Ansbaugh. ....

Why Dani?

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2017 MINNESOTA MULTISPORT AWARDS - The men's POY category was highly controversial. (We'll post Wade Cruser's disagreeing comments later this week.) So was the women's. A great case could be made for all of the nominated performances:

 

- GABY BUNTEN - Victory at Minneapolis. Gaby's 2:08:34 was the fastest Olympic(ish) time by a Minnesota woman this year. Beating Missouri's Danielle Dingman, now a pro, 2016 Minnesota Triathlete of the Year Hanna Grinaker (who Deked herself because of a lost chip), future pro Maeghan Easler (IA), Elaine Nelson, Suzie Fox, Kristina Swenson and others added to the magnitude of her effort.

 

- GABY BUNTEN - 5th overall at Nationals. How many Minnesota women have, during this millennium, cracked the overall Top 5 at Nationals? Three: Cathy Yndestad, Heather Lendway and Gaby Bunten. That's amazing company to be in. Hopefully USAT will evaluate her 2017 resume and award her an AOY HM.

 

- CHRISTINA ROBERTS - Win at Superior Man. Her 4:37:04 was the fastest 70.3 time by a Minnesota woman in 2017. The fact that she did this without being pushed--her margin of victory was 27:33--made it even more special.

 

- DANI VSETECKA - Win at Madison 70.3 - Beating former pro Dani Fischer, who would go on to reset the amateur women's CR at Ironman Wisconsin, was a big deal. Adding more bigness to the deal, she also beat Hanna Grinaker, and former pros Morgan Chaffin and Jessica Jacobs. ...

Let the Controversy Commence...

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2017 MINNESOTA MULTISPORT AWARDS - Most of the MMA explanation posts have dealt with categories that weren't especially controversial. Taylor, Keeghan, Jan, Matt, Diane, Gaby, Nathan and Sean were basically clear-cut choices.

Three of the next four categories, however, are extremely disputable. 

Today we'll attempt to justify the controversial selection of WADE CRUSER's victory at Apple Duathlon as the male PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR.

Matt Payne was the Emma Bingo winner at this year's MMA Party. He correctly guessed 11 of the 14 categories, for which he pocketed $50. One that he missed was male POY. After the event he explained to two members of the MMA Committee why he believed that though Wade's selection was reasonable, Sean Cooley's victory at Chisago Half was a better choice. He explained that Sean's 4:06 was the fastest 70.3 time by a Minnesota male in 2017, AND that he was able to outrace decorated pro Daniel Bretscher, who is best known for his long  course prowess. Daniel is a 3:52 half, and 8:19 full, guy....

Women Should Do Triathlons....

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By Susan Grant Legacki (active.com)

Despite triathlon's growing popularity around the world, USA Triathlon reported in 2014 that female participation numbers still hovered around 37 percent. Triathlon offers a fun, sociable and pretty addicting way of staying in shape—so why do so many women continue to stay on the sidelines?

Factors like expensive barriers to entry, a lack of time and fears about open water swimming are the most common complaints, but here are some pretty good reasons for ladies to get on a bike and give multisport a try.

1. For Your Heart

Many people think of heart attacks as a men's health issue, buth the truth is that heart disease is the  number on killer of both men and women. Being regularly active (at least 30 minutes of...

Why Sean?

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2017 MINNESOTA MULTISPORT AWARDS - With respect to the LONG DISTANCE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR, 2017 was an odd year. Athletes nominated in prior seasons were generally more prolific, i.e. they had more than the minimum two nomination-worthy efforts. 

Let's compare the top two finalists from 2016, to this year's nominees:

2016 - 

 - DIANE HANKEE's LD highlights

1st @ Liberty (4:42:30)

2nd at Muncie 70.3 (4:38:51)

3rd @ Steelhead 70.3 (4:41)

 

- ERIN FARREN's LD highlights:

1st @ Toughman (4:49:07)

3rd @ Timberman 70.3 (NH) - 4:43:13

3rd @ Ironman Louisville - 10:02:29

 

Now look at the LD highlights of the athletes nominated in 2017:  ...

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