Talented Sophomore....



Every winter the MTN Guys write about athletes who we believe are on the brink of regional stardom. Two years ago we predicted, like many others, that Wade Cruser would join our state's elite ranks. He then exceeded everyone's expectations; everyone's except his own.

Last year we predicted that Maggie Weiss and Kelly Trom would earn Team MInnesota berths. We were right.

These prognostications were not ballsy or prescient. Anyone who cared could see that those athletes were emerging.

Who will be this year's rising stars? We can think of several. We believe that this will be the year that KRISTINA SWENSON breaks out. EMILY MUELLNER also has, in our opinion, what it takes to be a star.

We plan to write more about these women soon, but today we are highlighting another athlete who we believe is ready to go to the next level.

His name is JAKE BRAAM. He's 27 and is from Elysian.

Jake was a strong Rookie of the Year nominee in 2017, placing 2nd behind Keeghan Hurley, who is currently in the process of acquiring a pro license. Jake's performances in '17 were very solid. Check them out:...


- 2nd @ Waseca Sprint (Behind Brooks Grossinger)

- 2nd @ Green Lake Olympic (Behind Jordan Roby)

- 7th @ Lake Minnetonka

- 8th @ Maple Grove (including Collegiate division)

What we know about Jake is that he's motivated and has a wonderful attitude. Performance is important, but fun and personal enrichment are the greatest takeaways. He's a gregarious guy who made lots of friends last season. We know he's anxious for the outdoor season to start.

What do we think is in Jake's immediate competitive future? He demonstrated at Maple Grove last year that he is destined to break 2-hours at Olympic distance. We believe he will do that in 2018. We also think his long distance debut (Superior Man?) will produce a 4:30 or better. Tall orders. Sure. But if Braam stays healthy, and keeps bringing the "happy," we see him doing those things.

Yes, we think that there will be a spot for Jake on Team Minnesota in the future. Will it be next season? We're anxious to find out.

ED. Here's some interesting stuff about JB: He listens to Garth Brooks and Macklemore, likes Batman movies and has read most of the Harry Potter books.





0 #1 Wade Cruser 2018-02-13 16:32
4:30??????? He's such a strong runner that I think he could run backwards for 13 miles and still go under 4:30. I smell a 4:15.....Which makes me wonder..... what is the fastest female/ male debut 70.3 time in the last 10 years?

ED. Ruth popped a 4:25:45 debut in 2012, and Dan Hedgecock went 4:09:10 in 2011. Confident about RBM. Might need a little more research for the guys.

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