2018 MINNESOTA MULTISPORT HONORS – Last Wednesday we posted the MMH Selectors reasons behind their men's Team Minnesota rankings. Today, we will try to explain their reasoning underpinning the women's rankings. 



1. HANNA GRINAKER & 2. GABY BUNTEN – Two extraordinary triathletes with stellar 2018 resumes. Our guess is that Gaby will be named 2018 USAT AOY in a few months, and we think that is awesome. Hanna did not race at Nationals and Worlds, and as such, will probably not be included in USAT's AOY deliberations. For the Committee, however, that all six of her tri efforts were POY-nomination-worthy, and that she outraced Gaby in their only meeting, gave her the edge over Bunten for the #1 spot here.

3. BECKY YOUNGBERG – We scoured our results archives and concluded that Becky's 2018 resume was arguably the best ever by a female  Minnesota master. The 43-year-old mom, a lapsed triathlete since 2011, came back stronger and faster than ever. She won five of the nine races she entered, setting two course records and six masters marks in the process. Her victorious 2:05:01 at Maple Grove earned a POY nomination, and her 4:37:07 second place finish at Chisago was probably the fastest 70.3 ever by a Minnesota female over the age of forty...


4. CHRISTINA ROBERTS – A perennial TOY nominee, Christina won four of the seven multis she did in 2018. Her 3rd (1stUS) at Escape from Alcatraz may have been even more stellar than her regional victories.


5. DANI VSETECKA & 6. KELLY TROM – The Kelly supporters on the Committee believed that Dani's racing volume, despite the fact that each of her three triathlon performances (two wins and a 2nd) were dazzling, was insufficient to rank her in the Top 5. Though Kelly's scorecard did not include a win, we were impressed with the fact that she only raced in the most competitive events, and was only beaten by TOY-nominated athletes. In four regional starts, she placed 2nd twice, and 3rd and 4th on the other two occasions.

7. ELAINE NELSON (photo R) – Two wins in six starts in 2018. On paper, here resume looked like it might be superior to Kelly's. A closer look showed otherwise. The fact that Trom finished six-plus minutes in front of Nelson at Minneapolis, plus the fact that she (Kelly) raced in more competitive events, ultimately dropped Elaine to the #7 spot.

8. SUZIE FOX – Suzie's placings were good—one win, two 2nds and a 3rd, all in highly competitive races, but her times were not what the Committee, or Suzie herself, expect from her. Still, she totally deserved a berth on the Team.

9. CHERYL ZITUR (top photo) – In 2009 and 2011, Jan Guenther, age 50 and 52, rrespectively,, earned berths on Team Minnesota. In 2018, Zitur, 54, became the second female quinquagenarian to make the Team. A glance at her resume makes it obvious that she deserved her slot. She won two races outright, beating credentialed athletes both times. In six regional starts, she only finished out of the overall women's Top 5 once (7th@ Heart of the Lakes).

10. NICOLE HEININGER – Like Vsetecka, Nicole only raced three times, the minimal volume necessary for inclusion in the Team Minnesota discussion. And like Vsetecka, she turned in three impressive performances. Her win at Chisago Sprint was a highlight. Her other efforts were a 2nd behind Youngberg at Hopkins, and a 4th at Heart of the Lakes behind Grinaker (#1), Youngberg (#3) and Fox (#8). Competition for the 10th spot was fierce, as Diane Hankee, Andrea Myers and Bettina Keppers also received support from Committee members.

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