AJ, Preston, Heather & Maggie...



Who do Matt and Damon believe is the 2022 Male Triathlete of the Year? They are still discussing this, and agree that there are two especially strong candidates, but neither are ready to name the TOY yet. Here, in alpha order, are the two athletes and their 2022 resumes under consideration:

- AJ MANNING, 34, Fargo (photo) - AJ had a spectacular season, winning three (Amateur title at Buffalo Olympic, Course Record at HyVee Sprint, and CR at Green Lake Olympic) of the five regional races he entered. His 14th overall place at Olympic Nationals (2:00:16) also helps his case. He set two course records, one of which is a slam-dunk POY nominee, and in his two confrontations with fellow TOY frontrunner Preston Youngdahl, he is 1 - 1.

- PRESTON YOUNGDAHL, 32, Plymouth - On Minnesota soil, Preston won four of the five races he entered, and placed 2nd in the other. His course record at Clearwater Olympic and amateur title at Maple Grove Olympic are POY nomination-worthy. He also lowered his personal half-iron best, posting a 4:12 (6th place overall) at Ironman 70.3 Madison...



Similarly, Matt and Damon agree that there are two strong candidates for Female TOY:


- HEATHER LENDWAY, 38, St. Paul (photo) - What can we say about the former World and National Champion? Three starts, three wins and all three efforts deserve POY scrutiny. Check out these margins of victory: Timberman OLympic - 25:15, Maple Grove Olympic - 11:54, Hopkins Royal (Sprint) - 7:55.


- MAGGIE SWANSON, 27, Excelsior - Four starts, three wins and a 2nd. Her victory at Ironman Wisconsin was definitely a POY-nomination. As we did with HL, let's look at Maggies MOVs: Buffalo Olympic - 2:05, Lake Minnetonka - 4:00, Ironman Wisconsin - 16:33. In her only non-winning effort (Door County Half IM), she finished just over a minute behind the women's winner.


ALSO CONSIDERED:  CARYN HERRICK, 32, St.Louis Park, ELAINE NELSON, 42, Duluth, PAIGE SCHULZ, 31, Minneapolis, CHRISTINA ROBERTS, 36, Minneapolis