Men's Team Minnesota: Why?



What needs to be understood at the outset is that TEAM MINNESOTA athletes are ranked by resume only, not reputation, i.e. who is perceived to be better than whom.

The way the team is determined is this: all five Committee members independently evaluate the resumes of the 20-or-so candidates. Each Selector then submits his (there were no female Selecrors this year; we hope that changes in 2018) list to the Chairman, who totals the points according to an athlete's placements. For instance, four Selectors ranked Sean Cooley 1st, with one ranking him 2nd. Sean, therefore, received 6 points.

Below is 2017 men's Team Minnesota. Next to each name is their point total. In parentheses are the ranking each athlete received. We also comment on how they fared against fellow Team MN members.


2017 Men's TEAM MINNESOTA:   ...



1. SEAN COOLEY - Points - 6 (1, 1, 1,1, 2, 1) - Sean was named Triathlete of the Year and Long Distance Triathlete of the Year. Though he was beaten by fellow Team MN athletes at Apple (Cruser, Spoth) and Buffalo (Payne, Cruser), he was not beaten by fellow Minnesotans in his final six races.

2. WADE CRUSER - Points - 9 (2, 2, 2, 1, 2) - Named Minnesota Duathlete of the Year, and should be considered for US DOY, plus winning the male Performance of the Year, Wade received one 1st place vote and four 2nds. He did manage to beat Cooley on two occasions. He was beaten by Payne at Buffalo and Adriaens at Maple Grove.

3. NATHAN ANSBAUGH - Points 16 (3, 3, 3, 4, 3) - Nathan won the Most Improved award and was arguably the most consistent racer among this year's elite amateur men. He was beaten by Cooley and Blankenheim at HOLT, and Cooley and Roby at Superior Man.


4. JOSH BLANKENHEIM - Points - 22 (6, 5, 4, 3, 4) - Josh rivaled Ansbaugh in the consistency department in 2017. He was 1-1 against Ansbaugh. Was beaten by Payne, Cruser and Cooley at Buffalo.

5. MATTHEW PAYNE - Points - 23 (4, 4, 5, 5, 5) - 2017 Master of the Year an winner of an unprecedented 13 MMAs in his career, Payne's resume lacked volume, plus some bad luck at Lake Waconia (rode long) conspired to prevent him from receiving a TOY nomination and a higher placing on this year's Team. Except for Lake Waconia, where he missed a turn and ultimately finished 7th, Matt was not beaten by a Minnesotan in 2017.

6. KRIS SPOTH - Points - 33 (5, 6, 7, 6, 9) - Five podiums, including one impressive win, in seven starts. We expect to see Kris on top of this list in the not-too-distant future. Kris was beaten by Sames at Oakdale, Cruser at Apple and Nationals, and Cooley and Ansbaugh at Minneapolis.

7. JORDAN ROBY (top photo) - Points: 35 (7, 7, 6, 8, 7) - Two time MI nominee, Jordan's resume had great volume (11 races) and quality (three wins and seven total podiums). His placing 7th here feels wrong, but 4th through 9th on this list are very evenly matched. Though he was beaten by fellow Team MN athletes at Oakdale, Apple, Lake Waconia, Lake Minnetonka and HOLT, Jordan outraced Brooks at Timberman and Ansbaugh at Superior Man.

8. BROOKS GROSSINGER - Points: 39 (9, 9, 8, 7, 6) - Two wins plus four 2nds. Selectors argued that few of the races that Brooks did had deep fields. Brooks beat Wiberg and Adriaens at Gear West, and Jordan at Lake Minnetonka.

9. BRIAN SAMES - Points: 48 (8, 8, 12, 8, 12) - Four wins in six starts with one sub-par effort. Once again, field quality was an issue. Overlooked perhaps was his CR at New Bri (1:00:06!). Still, there was so much talent parity this year, it was hard to move him up. Brian beat Spoth at Oakdale.

10. ANDY WIBERG (photo R) - Points: 50 (10, 10, 11, 9, 10) - Eight starts, two course record wins. What relegated Andy to 10th here were his un-Wiberg-like efforts at Liberty and 70.3 Worlds. He managed to beat Adriaens at Gear West, Sames (and Payne*) at Lake Waconia and Roby at HOLT..

The next two spots:  11. JOE ADRIAENS - Points: 55 (11, 11, 10, 11, 12), 12. DAVID HOLDEN - Points: 56 (13, 13, 9, 10, 11)



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