Race Coverage

Becky is Back!

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LAKE WACONIA TRIATHLON - BECKY YOUNGBERG (photo L) had not raced in a multisport event since September 2011. When she appeared at Lake Waconia last Sunday, the question on the minds of some, certainly ours, was "how close to her former self would she perform." She had won the LWT in 2011 in the solid time of 1:35:37. We recall that race.

What an exciting competition that was. HEIDI KELLER MILER led through the first two phases. Becky was next, just over a minute back. In her rearview mirror was MICHELLE ANDRES, only a dozen seconds behind. To win, Becky needed to overtake HKM while holding off Andres. She did those things, and when the dust cleared, the podium was: 1. YOUNGBERG - 1:35:37, 2. ANDRES - 1:35:46, 3. KELLER MILER 1:35:54.

Could Becky match her 2011 time at LWT '18? Tall order, right? This is her first race back after a seven-year layoff. She's bound to have some rust. And she was 37 back then; she's 43 now.

And where would a 1:35 land her in the standings? It would have placed her 6th in 2016, 4th in 2015, 2nd in 2014 and 2013.

In the end, the new Youngberg did not race like the old Youndberg, the woman who had amassed at least 36 multisport wins in her pre-hiatus years. She raced better, which is to say, faster. ...

 

She left T2 with a huge lead. Her closest challenger was late registrant DANI VSETECKA, a strong runner. The rest of the women's field would need four-or-so-minutes to complete the bike, thus the race for first was clearly a two-woman race. 

Who will win, and who would claim the bronze medal position?

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In twelve prior starts, Vsetecka had only missed on podium once, and that was at 70.3 Worlds last year, where she raced with a foot injury. Also, she won half of those dozen races.

Last Sunday, she shaved more than a minute off of Youngberg's lead, but that still left her 52 seconds back when Becky crossed the line. Youngberg's time was extraordinary, a 1:31:25, the second fastest women's time in the history of the current distances, which have been in place since 2007. Additionally, her time lowered the masters record by 4:29!

So, it is fare to say that Becky is back. 

Dani's 2nd place time was 1:32:17, the 6th all-time fastest women's clocking here.

Places three through eight were claimed by elite masters, starting with LORI DESCHAMPS' 1:36:45. The 47-year-old Alaskan has a stellar resume, including a number of sub-2:10 Olympic efforts. Fourth-through-eighth were earned by: 4. SARA RONDORF, 40 - 1:38:38, 5. CHERYL ZITUR, 53 - 1:38:48, 6. JAN GUENTHER, 59 - 1:40:23, 7. VICKI OSTENDORF, 53 - 1:42:10, 8. LYNDSAY MEYER, 44 - 1:43:14.

The MTN Guys were anxious to see how the battle between teen stars MACY IYER, 14, and 2017 JOY TAYLOR LUNDQUIST, 18, shook out.

Was that confrontation as exciting as we had hoped? Oh yeah. Both of the girls ultimately landed spots in the women's Top 10, with the eventual margin of victory being 39 seconds in favor of Iyer, whose 1:44:32 was the type of clocking last seen from national class juniors LAUREN STEINKE and GRETA DANIELSON.

Did Iyer's performance suggest that she has unseeded Lundquist as our state's premier junior girl? Not necessarily. You see, history has shown that Taylor gets stronger and faster as the season progresses. Last year she was beaten by fellow teens at LWT, Timberman and Heart of the Lakes, then, in August, she went on a competitive rampage, winning three races outright. Her final scorecard boasted eight junior titles and six junior course records.

So, we can't wait to witness the next confrontation between Macy and Taylor.

As mentioned in yesterday's post, four AG records were rewritten on Sunday, three by women:

40-44 – BECKY YOUNGBERG – 1:31:25 (Old Mark – 1:35:54 co-held by Heidi Keller Miler in 2011, and Cheryl Zitur in 2016)

55-59 – JAN GUENTHER – 1:40:23 (Old Mark – 1:47:20 by Pam Stevens in 2010)

6569 – PAM STEVENS – 1:50:20 (Old Mark – 2:13:54 by Marsha Soucheray in 2007)

RESULTS

Photos by Drew Frakes - Top - Becky Youngberg. Page 2 - Mary Edelman and her proud daughter.

 

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