Thinking About 2020...


2019 cathyswimcap.pngwas an odd year. A few prominent athletes either didn't race at all (Wade Cruser, Matt PayneSuzie Fox, Jesson Baumgartner), or raced in out-of-state events only, (Gaby Bunten, Joe Adriaens), or only sparingly (Elaine Nelson, Kevin O'Connor, Dani Vsetecka, Nicole Heininger, Sam Hauck).

Sean Cooley only raced in one Minnesota tri last year. We're used to seeing him at between five (2018) and nine (2017 and 2016)  local races. Likewise, Jordan Roby is also a veteran of 5 - 9 annual local races, but like Sean, he only raced in one Minnesota tri in 2019.

No judgment here. We just miss watching these great athletes do that voodoo that they do so well.

On the positive side, there were those who filled in some of the gaps in 2019, like our state's most decorated female multisporter Cathy Yndestad (photo L), who returned to Minnesota after having lived  abroad for four years; and up-and-coming collegians Rachel Zilinkskas and Jenna Horner, as well as elite rookies Paige Schulz and Caryn Herrick.

Will everyone be back in 2020?  ...

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Another National Honor For Tony?


Thetonyplaid.pngre seems to be two categories of Elite Age Group athletes. The largest category is comprised of men and women who score within the parameters of recognized performance standards. The smaller "eliter" category consists of those who are capable of setting new standards, and sometimes do just that.

They are the "bar raisers."

Who are some of the male bar raisers? 2018, 2017 USAT Master of the Year LEE WALTHER, 56, of Oklahoma City is certainly one, as are Midwesterners TONY SCHILLER (61, Chanhassen, MN) and GREG TAYOR (65, Yankton, SD).

Tony and Greg are two of the most decorated American AG triathletes ever, and both appear destined to be 2019 USA Triathlon Grand Master of the Year finalists. Greg took home the GMOY in 2017 and 2015. Tony became eligible for the award in 2018, and, in our opinion, raced well enough to be named GMOY Honorable Mention, but was overlooked....

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Full Circle...


By Guy Limbeck (postbulletin.com)

Rochester's Ruth Brennan Morrey didn't get to indulge too much over the holidays. That's because she was in training, like she has been virtually her entire adult life.

The former professional triathlete was also recovering and celebrating from a recent marathon that earned her a spot in the upcoming U.S. Olympic Trials.
The 44-year-old qualified during the California International Marathon on Dec. 8. The women's standard to qualify, within a two-year window of the Olympics, is two hours and 45 minutes. Brennan Morrey had a time of 2:43.41.

"It was super exciting because it was a goal of mine for the last two years since I retired from triathlon," Brennan Morrey said. "It was just a goal that was pretty special as it was the 20-year anniversary of when I qualified for the first time." ....

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Another National Award for Patrick?


Basppwinning.pnged on our research, three men, all of whom are upper Midwesterners, appear to be slam-dunk finalists for USA Triathlon's 2019 Duathlete of the Year. They are RYAN GIULIANO (IL), 2018 DOY TODD BUCKINGHAM (MI), and Mnnesota's PATRICK PARISH, a four-time DOY, thrice as an Elite, once as an AGer.

Buckingham, a totally cool guy, won Sprint Nationals and placed 2nd at Draft Legal Nats. These results appear to be the extent of his du racing in 2019, thus an Honorable Mention is probably the best he could hope for.

Patrick's du resume was slightly more voluminous, and featured victories at Standard Distance Du Nationals, our country's most competitive run-bike-run, and the resurrected Gear West Du, plus a silver medal effort at Apple.

Good enough for another DOY nod?

We hope so, but reckon that Giuliano will win the prize. If we are correct, Patrick will have to settle for an HM.

Here is Ryan's 2019 Du scorecard:   ...



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National Honors For Becky?


In our Sunday/Monday post we discussed why we believed that GABY BUNTEN will receive a USA Triathlon 2019 Athlete of the Year Honorable Mention. Today, we explain why we think that BECKY YOUNGBERG will be a finalist for USAT Master of the Year.

For women, three age groups comprise the Masters category: 40-44, 45-49, 50-54. And since, with good reason, USAT favors athletes who excel at their National Championships, it is reasonable to assume that the winners of those three Masters categories at Nationals will be the first athletes to be evaluated for the MOY and MOY HMs.

At Cleveland Nationals, decorated distance runner GINGER REINER, 42 (MA), finished 8th overall and won the 40-44 AG. Becky Youngberg, 45 (MN), won the 45-49W, placing 17th overall, and ADRIENNE LEBLANC, 50 (AZ), took the 50-54, and was the 14th fastest woman overall.

Reiner and Youngberg also raced at Sprint Nationals, and once again, won their respective AGs. As two-time National Champions, Ginger and Becky were likely post-season honorees.

Further research revealed that Reiner won her AG at the Lausanne World Championships (Olympic distance), and LeBlanc did likewise, beating 2000 Olympic Triathlon champion Brigitte McMahon of Switzerland in the process....

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