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Claire? Dan? Sam? Jenny?

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2010 Minnesota Multisport Awards - 2008 was a super year for rookies, several of whom--Kortney Haag, Patrick Parish, Lydia Novotny, Brooke Larsen--have gone on to achieve stardom...

Guess what? 2008 aint got nuthin' on 2010 as far as talented first-yearers are concerned. Four mercurial athletes appear to be shoo-ins for Rookie of the Year nominations, and all appear destined to set the performance standards of the future here in Minnesota. All four of these athletes are, in a word, "special."

They are (in order of their pictures above):

Claire Bootsma, 23, Minneapolis - Victorious in two of the three multis she's entered to date and favored to win at Osceola Du on Saturday, Claire is far from scratching the surface of her potential.

Daniel Hedgecock, 23, Minneapolis - Though he had no wins in eight starts, Dan acquitted himself spectacularly in many of our region's most competitive races. He's reached the amateur podium at Manitou and Turtleman. His 4th at Minneman and 6th at Life Time Fitness were similarly impressive.

Sam Janicki, 24, Maplewood - Winner of the Tri Minnesota Series, Sam has won five of the eight races he's finished thus far this season. Unlike Dan, though, Sam has not raced often against our state's established elite. And against each other, Janicki and Hedgecock are 1-1.

Jenny Shaughnessy, 24, Minneapolis - Shaughnessy has won three of the four races she's entered this season. And finished 2nd in the other. More importantly, she has faced and beaten all but one--Cathy Yndestad--of Minnesota top girls.

Who do you think should be the 2010 Minnesota Rookie of the Year? Use the Comment feature below to let us know. Nominees in all of the MMA categories will be announced during the third week of October.

Sunday: Potential nominees for Grand Master of the Year.

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