2019 Team Minnesota: Women...


hannabeckychristina.pngMINNESOTA MULTISPORT HONORS – This year's women's Team Minnesota list looks much different than in prior years. Notably absent from 2018's roster are DANI VSETECKA, ELAINE NELSON and NICOLE HEININGER, who didn't have sufficient racing volume, and SUZIE FOX, who has retired, hopefully not permanently.

Thanks in part to the return of CATHY YNDESTAD, and the emergence of talented young triathletes, like RACHEL ZILINSKAS, PAIGE SCHULZ, who did earn spots in the Top 10, and CARYN HERRICK and JENNA HORNER, who came darn close to doing so, the 2019 women's team is as formidable as ever.

Unprecedented is the fact that half of the team are masters.

Next to each name in parentheses are the athletes highest and lowest ranking. For instance, next to HANNA GRINAKER's name is (1-2), which means that at least one of the five-member Committee ranked her #1, and at least one member ranked her as low as #2. In Hanna's case, four Selectors ranked her #1, and just one ranked her in 2nd place.

Finally, athletes are supposed to be ranked by resume alone, and not by “how good” they are generally perceived to be....


1. HANNA GRINAKER, 31, St. Paul (1-2) – Despite low racing volume, Hanna won all three categories in which she was nominated.
2. BECKY YOUNGBERG, 44, Eden Prairie (1-2) – Versatile and prolific, Becky earned Duathlete of the Year and Master of the Year honors. She won five races and notched two national titles in 2019.andreabiking.png
3. CATHY YNDESTAD, 40, Mendota Heights (3-4) – Three wins, three course records in five tri starts. Her 2:05:33 at Minneapolis was the fastest Olympic time by a Minnesota woman last season.
4. GABY BUNTEN, 27, St. Paul (3-4) – Top 5 finishes at Olympic and Sprint Nationals, a win at St. Anthony's (FL) and a 2nd at Madison 70.3 weren't her only highlights. She was the 2nd US female finisher at Lausanne Worlds. Third and 4th places on this list are basically interchangeable.
5. KORTNEY HAAG, 40, Maple Grove (5-5) – Her scorecard featured two wins, including a PR – 4:32:52 at Chisago, and two 2nds.
6. CHRISTINA ROBERTS, 33, St. Louis Park (6-6) – Two major tri wins, and 3rd place finishes at Buffalo and Maple Grove marked another great season for Roberts.
7. DIANE HANKEE, 42, Lino Lakes (7-7) – Like Becky, Diane raced often and impressively. She threw down elite results at Sprint (2 wins), half IM (1 win), duathlon (1 win, 1 x 2nd), plus a podium in her off-road tri debut.
8. RACHEL ZILINSKAS, 24, Minneapolis (8-8) – Destined for stardom, Rachel wowed us with her 6th at Collegiate Nationals, and her 2nd at Minneapolis Olympic (2:08:46!).
9. PAIGE SCHULZ, 29, Minneapolis (9-9) – The 2019 Rookie of the Year's long course resume was too good to ignore, especially her podiums at Ironman Mont-Tremblant (3rd amateur woman – 10:09:16!) and Chisago (3rd – 4:42:17).
10. ANDREA MYERS, 44, Plymouth (10-10) – Four podiums, plus three 4th-place finishes were enough to leapfrog Kelly, Cheryl, Caryn, Jenna, JFF, Kristina and Bettina, i.e. the ladies who were vying for the final spot on Team Minneapolis. (Photo R)


Top Photo (L-R) - Buffalo women's podium: Grinaker, Youngberg, Roberts.

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