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Why Becky? Why Kevin?

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MINNESOTA MULTISPORT HONORS - HEATHER TAYLOR's selection as Rookie of the Year was a true slam dunk. Only one other pick was as slam dunky as that one: BECKY YOUNGBERG's selection as female MASTER OF THE YEAR.

Analysing past F-MOY winners, we were unable to come up with a resume that rivaled Becky's. Check out these highlights:

- 1st overall @ Lake Waconia - Masters Record

- 1st overall @ Green Lake Olympic - Course Record

- 1st overall @ YoungLife Olympic - Masters Record

- 1st overall @ Maple Grove Olympic - 2:05:04 - Course Record

- 1st overall @ Hopkins Royal Triathlon - Course Record

- 2nd overall / 1st Master @ Heart of the Lakes

- 2nd overall @ Chisago Half IM - 4:37:04 - Masers Record

Here's the breakdown: Five wins. One Performance of the Year nomination (Maple Grove). Three course records. Six masters records. Ranked #3 on Team Minnesota....

 

 

As easy as it was to determine F-MOY, the men's MASTER OF THE YEAR gave the commitee fits. Two nominees--KEVIN O'CONNOR and MATT PAYNE--had distanced themselves from the rest of the age-40 & over field, with each receiving a Triathlete of the Year nomination.

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A cursory glance at their resumes suggested that Matt had a slight edge. He raced five times, winning thrice and placing second on the other two occasions. Kevin had one win, two seconds and two thirds.

The men faced each other twice, Matt winning one of those battles, Kevin taking the other.

So, why did the majority of the Committee select KO as M-MOY? 

It came down to "race selection." All but one of the races that Kevin did featured strong fields. And in the one that did not, O'Connor trashed the masters record. He beat Matt, Josh Blankenheim and Garrett Welsch at Chisago Sprint. He beat Patrick Parish, Sam Hauck and a gaggle of collegiate elites at Maple Grove Olympic, and he did so in a time - 1:56:05--that was arguably the POY by a male master in 2018. He beat Wade Cruser, Ted Treise, Garrett Welsch, Josh Blankenheim, Dave Koppel, Joe Adriaens, Jake Braam et al at Lake Waconia.

In the end, it was clear that O'Connor faced, and excelled against, better competition than did Payne.

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