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Double Dippers: Tim, David and Kyle....

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2021 MINNESOTA MULTISPORT HONORS - Today we are combining two categories: Male Most Improved and Male Triathlete of the Year. This is because the same three athletes are nominated in both categories.

Here are those athletes, their 2021 racing highlights, and some commentary:

TIM BONTRAGER, 29, MInneapolis (photo L)

- 1st @ TriByKnight Sprint (IA)

- 1st @ Fairmont Olympic - 1:57:49

- 1st @ Buzz Ryan Sprint - Course record

- 1st @ Chisago Sprint 

- 1st @ Shawnee Mission Sprint (KS) ...

- 1st @ Square Lake Sprint - 1:15:50

- 2nd @ Manitou Olympic

- 32nd overall male @ Olympic Nationals - 1:59:23

COMMENT: Six wins. Sub-2-hour Olympic results. One course record. Before 2021, Tim's Olympic PR was 2:09:18, and though he did not race in our region's most competitive races, Nationals notwithstanding, his times were impressive. He was not on the Team Minnesota radar prior to this season, but will secure a very high 2021 ranking.

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DAVID KOPPEL, 34, Maple Grove (photo R)

- 1st @ Buffalo Olympic

- 1st @ Manitou Olympic

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

- 1st @ Gear West Olympic

- 1st @ Lakes Country - 57:36 (2nd fastest ever)

- 21st overall @ Olympic Nationals - 1:58:29

COMMENT: David's peers saw this coming. Undefeated in regional racing, winning by large margins each time. He will not only make Team Minnesota for the first time, he will rank at or near the top.

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KYLE SWENSON, 19, Rogers (photo L)

- 1st overall @ HITS-Sarasota Sprint

- 1st overall @ Lake Minnetonka Triathlon

- 1st overall @ Timberman Sprint - 54:14 (2nd fastest ever)

- 1st overall @ Maple Grove Olympic - 1:55:07

- 2nd overall @ Pigman Sprint

- 6th overall @ Heart of the Lakes

- 14th overall @ Sprint Nationals - 59:15

- 40th overall @ Olympic Nationals - 2:00:59

COMMENT: In the 21-year history of the MMHs, Kyle is the first junior to be nominated for Triathlete of the Year. At least one of his performances will be nominated for Performance of the Year.

Also receiving consideration in the TOY category was AJ MANNING (Fargo, ND). 

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