Why Keeghan?



MINNESOTA MULTISPORT AWARDS - When determining nominees and eventual MMA winners, the Selectors scrutinize resumes, measuring performances against records and legacies, evaluating field depth and head-to-head battles. We try to determine if the potential nominees approach, match or exceed the standards set by their predecessors. For instance, today's Masters are measured against the likes of Tony Schiller, Brian Bich, Kevin O'Connor, Jan Guenther, Heidi Keller-Miler, Cheryl Zitur and Marnie Walth; today's Juniors are compared to Beth Zirbes, Greta Danielson, Kate Lowrey, Michael Williams, Jason Liebsch and Nick Klonne.

Nominees and winners are determined democatically. Selectors make their cases for the athletes they believe deserve to be nominated, hoping to influence the others. In the end, each Selector submits the names of those they believe deserve to be nominated, and the four athletes receiving the most support receive nominations. After the nominees are chosen, the process starts again. Selectors argue for the athletes they believe should win the awards.

In the end, no Selector gets everything that they argue for. A perfect example of this was the determination of female Triathlete of the Year. For the first time in the nineteen-year history of the awards, THREE athletes received Selector support. In years past, a clear favorite, one all the Selectors could agree upon, emerged in this category: Jan Guenther (1999-2001), Wendy Peterson (2002-2003), Becky Youngberg (2004), Emily Deppe (2005), Marlo Crosby (2006), Cathy Yndestad (2007 -2010), Claire Bootsma (2011), Ruth Brennan Morrey (2012), Heather Lendway (2013-2014), Suzie Fox (2016), Hanna Grinaker (2016).

But that was not the case this year, and the arguments that ensued were heated, and lasted for weeks. Strong cases were made for Gaby Bunten, Christina Roberts and Kortney Haag, with Gaby eventually coming out on top. ....


Now for 2017 ROOKIE OF THE YEAR:  KEEGHAN HURLEY, 21, Perham, 

Keeghan was a slam dunk selection, agreed upon by all the Selectors. He certainly matched the standards of his ROY predecessors.The last Minnesota male rookies that demonstrated the kind of potential that Hurley showed in 2017 were Sam Janicki, ROY runner-up in 2010, Jeremy Sartain, who won this award back in 2005, and 2003 winner Chuck Smith. That's great company to be in.

Though his non-drafting resume was thin-- three races--his performances were stellar, like those of an veteran elite amateur:


- 1st at Hoot Lake (Margin of victory: 2:38)

- 1st @ Young Life Olympic - 1:58:43 (A Sean Cooley-level performance. Hurley's MOV was 9:06!)


- 2nd @ Barwon Heads (AUS) Sprint (This was the kicker. Keeghan placed 2nd in a field that featured Aussie pros and US pro development athletes.)


Keeghan comes from a strong run background, and is a very good swimmer as well. He is currently being groomed for a pro career, and will likely get his license in 2018.

His competition for the 2017 ROY was Jake Braam (26, Elysian) and Emily Muellner (24, Minneapolis photo), both of whom appear destined for future award consideration and spots on Team Minnesota. We believe Jake will break 2-hours at Olympic distance in 2018. Emily reminds us of Jan Guenther, i.e. a terrific all-around endurance athlete. She skied and ran at UMD, and she is passionate about cycling. When we recall all the great non-winning ROY nominees that went on to achieve stardom, folks like Dan Hedgecock, Claire Bootsma, Patrick Parish, we are anxious to see if Jake and Emily will follow in those footsteps.

Tomorrow, we will discuss the Juniors.

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