Women's Team Minnesota: Why?



Let's begin by repeating what we posted two Thursdays ago concerning the determination of men's Team Minnesota:... all five Committee members independently evaluate the resumes of the 20-or-so candidates. Each Selector then submits his (there were no female Selectors this year; that will change 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 women's Team Minnesota. Next to each name is their point total. In parentheses are the rankings each athlete received. We also comment on how they fared against fellow Team MN members.

1. GABY BUNTEN - Points: 9 (1, 2, 1, 2, 3) - Gaby excelled at Olympic distance racing in 2017, winning thrice in fast times, in addition to cracking the overall Top 5 at Nationals. Two of her Olympic efforts--Nationals and Minneapolis --received Performance of the Year nominations. Who'd she beat? Erin Farrens at Trinona, Danielle Dingman (MO), Meghan Easler (IA), Elaine Nelson, Suzie Fox, Kristina Swenson, Maggie Weiss at Minneapolis. 

2. KORTNEY HAAG  (photo L) - Points: 9 (2, 3, 2, 1, 1) - Kort proved once again that her Olmpic distance prowess--two wins and a 2nd--rivals her half IM proficiency. Her victory at Liberty was the 18th (!) 70.3 win of her...

career. Who'd she beat? Heininger at Liberty, Sheena Dauer at Clearwater, Kelly Trom, Diane Hankee, Erin Farrens. Sara Carlson, Marnie Walth at Chisago, Trom at Big Lake, Maggie Weiss, Diane Hankee, Suzie Fox,Robyn Wangberg and Kristina Swenson at Maple Grove.




3. CHRISTINA ROBERTS - Points: 13 (3, 1, 3, 4, 2) - The winningest (6) and most versatile--wins at sprint, Olympic and half IM--amateur woman on the Minnesota scene.Why is she 3rd? Beats me. See Jerry Anonymous' December 5 post.

4. ELAINE NELSON (photo R) - Points: 23 (4, 5, 7, 3, 4) - Duluth's premier multisportswoman, Elaine won half of the six races she entered. Who'd she beat? Suzie, Maggie, Jenn Scudiero, Erin and Andrea at Gear West; Christina, Suzie, Sheena at Buffalo; Suzie, Maggie and Kristina at Minneapolis; Bettina Keppers at Buzz Ryan; Kayla Kjellman (CAN) and Tiffany Kari at Brewhouse.

5. NICOLE HEININGER - Points: 27 (5, 4, 5, 7, 6) - Four wins in eight starts, including an impressive course record at New Bri. Who'd she beat? Hankee, Roberts, Fox at Lake Waconia.

6. DIANE HANKEE - Points: 29 (6, 6, 6, 6, 5) - In ten starts, this talented 40-year-old won twice--Gear West and Pigman Sprint--and podiumed at four other races. She excelled in duathlons, sprint tris and half IM. Who'd she beat? Nelson, Fox, Weiss, Farrens at Gear West; Sheena, Christina, Jenn Scudiero at Apple; Roberts and Fox at Lake Waconia; Weiss, Trom, Myers, Farrens, Lendway, Swenson at HOLT; Farrens, Carlson, Walth at Chisago. It should be noted here that places 4-through-6 were basically interchangeable.

7. DANI VSETECKA - Points: 30 (7, 7, 4, 5, 7)  - Dani is a rare and special talent, one with pro potential, if she chooses that route. Because she prefers long distance, she doesn't race as frequently as the women ranked above her here. A foot injury prevented her from racing up to her potential at 70.3 Worlds. Had she been uninjured and performed like she did in her winning effort at Madison 70.3, for which she won the POY award, her resume, though thin (four races) may have landed her in the Top 3. Her win at Apple also earned a POY nomination. Who'd she beat? Kidd, Heininger, Lenglet, Myers at Falls Du; Grinaker, Hankee,Dauer, Roberts, Scudiero, Myers at Apple; former pros Dani Fischer, Morgan Chaffin and Jessica Jones, plus Hanna Grinaker at Madison.

8. SUZIE FOX - Points: 41 (8, 8, 8, 9, 8) - Since her 11-win TOY season in 2015, Suzie has struggled somewhat. Injuries and other physical ailments kept her from performing at her best. Nevertheless, she did win three of the nine multis she finished in 2017. Her career win total is now 41! Not bad for one who took up the sport in 2009. Did she beat any of the women that are ranked above her here? Yes, but only once. She beat Hankee at YWCA.

9.  MAGGIE WEISS - Points: 46 (9, 9, 9, 10, 9) - The tri sophomore is still looking for her first win, but she has come close a few times. What we like about her is that she's aggressive and chooses the most competitive races. She was impressive in podium efforts at Lake Minnetonka, HOLT and especially Maple Grove. She may have placed higher here if she was able to hold on at Buffalo (heart-related DNF) and had a better result at Minneapolis. Did she beat any of the women ranked above her? Yes. She beat Fox and Hankee at Maple Grove.

10. KELLY TROM - Points: 48 (10, 10, 10, 8, 10) - Like Weiss, Kelly seeks out the most competitive races. Though she didn't post a W in 2017, her 2nd behind Haag at Big Lake Olympic was very impressive, as as her 70.3 PR - 4:40:58 in a bronze medal effort at Chisago. Her 4th against a great field at HOLT was nothing to sneeze at either. Did she manage to beat some of the women that are ranked ahead of her? Un-huh. She beat Hankee at Chisago.


Nest in line:  11. ERIN FARRENS - Points: 55 (11, 11, 11, 11, 11), 12. ANDREA MYERS - Points: 62 (12, 13, 12, 12, 13. SHEENA DAUER - Points: 64 (13, 12, 13, 13, 13)


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