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2023 Minnesota Multisport Honorees...

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By Mav

Minnesota triathletes rocked in 2023, throwing down fast times, racing a lot, and having fun with their peers. For the past several months, Goose and I have been posting our official nominees for the 2023 Minnesota Multisport Honors. Below and the 2023 MMH winners.


Junior of the Year – Girls: Macy Iyer (19, Edina). In her last year of JOY candidacy, Macy impressed the Committee with two junior titles, including an overall podium finish.


Junior of the Year – Boys: Noah Billings (17, Rochester). Noah won two races outright this season and showed his ability to put together a complete race, with swim, bike, and run splits rivaling those of his top-notch adult competitors.


Grand Master of the Year – Women: Jan Guenther (64, Long Lake). Jan won her age group at sprint, olympic, and half-iron distance races. She also consistently races at some of MN’s most competitive events. It should be noted that Cheryl Zitur received very serious consideration for this honor and was initially favored by me. Cheryl excelled at what she does best, sprint distance racing, but Jan’s race choice and versatility convinced me to side with Goose, agreeing in the end that Jan edged out Cheryl for this award.


Grand Master of the Year – Men: Tim Brown (65, Blaine). Tim was a slam dunk to win this honor. In 2023, he was one of Minnesota’s most diverse racers. He had age group wins at Apple Duathlon, Buffalo Sprint (AG record), 70.3 Des Moines (where he could have started 30 minutes after his competitors and still won his age group), and Ironman Wisconsin.

 

prestonmug.pngMaster of the Year – Women: Bettina Keppers (40, Duluth). This was a very tough category, and it took us a long time to decide on a winner. The three nominees, including Bettina, Stephanie Peterson, and Diane Hankee, had very comparable resumes. But, Bettina’s three overall wins at more competitive events gave her a slight margin over her peers.


Master of the Year – Men: Dan Arlandson (47, Burnsville). Dan stuck to 70.3 racing this season, only being beaten by two Masters total in his three finishes. His competition, Brooks Grossinger and Brandon Lee, raced as well as Dan, but were occasionally beaten by other MN Masters.


Most Improved – Women: Katie Kadera (35, Marine on St. Croix). Katie was unknown to the MMH Committee until this season. She won outright at Square Lake Sprint, placed second at Maple Grove Sprint, and third at Chisago Sprint. Her improvement from being off our radar to becoming a threat to win races impressed the Committee.


Most Improved – Men: Peter Wilkman (29, St. Louis Park). Peter had a breakout season, placing well and consistently racing fast at the Olympic and Half-Iron distances. He received serious competition for this honor by Brandon Lee, prompting an extensive debate between Goose and me. Neither man earned spots on Team Minnesota in 2022 but both rose to Team levels in 2023, but Peter came a little farther and earned a Triathlete of the Year nomination. The Committee is excited to see the progress of these two in 2024.


Performance of the Year – Women: Shyanne McGregor’s (39, Duluth) amateur win at 70.3 Maine. In a time of 4:28:25, Shyanne managed to take the overall female amateur win against an internationally competitive field, including a long list of elite Canadian amateurs. Furthermore, she would have placed 13th against the women’s pro field on the day.


Performance of the Year – Men: Preston Youngdahl’s (33, Plymouth - Photo) amateur course record at Maple Grove Olympic. Preston’s 1:53:55 is just plain silly. Only professionals have gone faster at our state’s most competitive Olympic distance race. Also receiving serious consideration was Sean Cooley’s 1:58 at Trinona Olympic. The last amateur to break 2:00 on Trinona’s challenging course was Matthew Payne in 2012, with some professionals also doing so up until 2014.


Triathlete of the Year – Women: Heather Lendway (39, St. Paul). Heather was undefeated on MN soil and placed 7th overall at USAT Nationals. The former pro only knows how to win, and her times usually compete with her elite male counterparts.


Triathlete of the Year – Men: Preston Youngdahl (33, Plymouth). Like Lendway, Youngdahl, who won this honor in 2022, was undefeated in local races. He was faster than last year too, as shown by his Performance of the Year effort at Maple Grove Olympic.

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