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Diane, Bettina & Stephanie...

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By Mav

2023 Masters – Womens Nominees - Goose’s name-dropping post on potential female Master of the Year nominees included some familiar names, as well as women who took the next step in 2023. Highlighted below are the women aged 40-54 who I am nominating for the 2023 Minnesota Multisport Honor of Female Master of the Year:

Diane Hankee, 46, Lino Lakes. Diane is a 2x Master of the Year, and had a nomination-worthy season in 2023 as well. She had two regional podiums including a win at One Last Tri Sprint, and she posted solid results at Sprint and Olympic Nationals in Milwaukee.

Bettina Keppers, 40, Duluth. With 3 overall wins in 2023, Bettina set herself apart from the competition, often achieving this by way of a strong bike split bookended by a solid swim and run. Duluth has a strong multisport tradition – was her season good enough to crown her as the northland’s numero uno? Speculation aside, it is clear that she is a strong nominee for the Master of the Year honor.

Stephanie Peterson, 47, St. Paul. Stephanie had a breakout season in 2023 and didn’t miss the overall podium. She won outright three times (including a duathlon win at Oakdale), and she placed second in South Dakota at the HyVee Tri. ...

Several other women, who Goose has mentioned in previous posts, had tremendous seasons but did not have at least 3 nomination-worthy performances. If they had raced once more, it would have been tremendously tough to come up with official nominees. I would also like to highlight two ladies from Duluth, Tiffany Kari, 43, and Elaine Nelson, 44, who rocked this year. Elaine is as consistent from year-to-year as they come, winning the two races she competed in, and Tiffany placed 3rd overall at Timberman Olympic, outracing Hankee in the process. The MMH Committee has historically required 3 excellent performances to be included in the conversation for end-of-season awards, and for the sake of consistency, fairness, and to avoid nominating those with a perceived “better reputation”, my nominees still had to reach the quota of 3 or more excellent races in a season.

GOOSE's COMMENT: I basically agree with Mav's picks and that arguably the two fastest 40+ women--Kari and Nelson--were ineligible based on racing volume. I, however, favored Andrea Myers over Hankee based on volume (five races), consistency and race selection. Mav and I will argue a bit then determine if his picks will stand or be amended.

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