Whys & Wherefores...

tri night(Steve Stenzel Photo)

Minnesota Multisport Awards - What the heck were they thinkin'? How could they have chosen so-and-so over you-know-who?

Prior to Saturday's MMA Presentation, blogger extraordinaire Steve Stenzel posted his picks (LINK), i.e. the athletes he believed, based on his own astute observations and thoughtful consideration, should take home the awards.

Six of his choices matched the Committee's ultimate picks. Six did not.

Because of his fresh and differing perspectives, Steve (cool portrait below) has since been officially invited to become a member of the 2011 MMA Selection Committee...

The selection process is democratic and it's frightfully rare when all Committee members are in total agreement on who should be nominated; and ultimately who steveshould win. Majority rules.

Why then did the majority of the MMA Selectors select the selectees they selected? Here are category-by-category explanations:

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR - Jenny Shaughnessy

The rookie class of 2010 was arguably the strongest since the inception of the MMAs in 1999. It was a shame that three of the nominated athletes would not win.

Though Sam Janicki (Steve's ROY pick) won five races and turned in some smoking fast times, and Daniel Hedgecock raced admirably in several of our region's the most competitive and prestigious events, the Committee chose Jenny Shaughnessy because she raced against and beat all but two of this year's Team Minnesota girls. The ONLY Minnesota woman to beat Jenny in 2010 was Cathy Yndestad, who prior to turning pro in mid-season, was the premier amateur short course triathlete in America. She did not face Team MN's talented Kortney Haag, who's racing season did get underway until after Shaughnessy relocated to North Carolina to attend graduate school at Duke University.

kateThe other ROY nominee was Claire Bootsma, who had a great season (three wins and a 3rd) but was untested against the best girls in the state. Don't be surprised if she makes Team Minnesota in 2011.

UPDATE: We've been hearing from a number of Sam Janicki fans who feel he was robbed. The committee, all of whom are Sam fans, too, by the way, believed that Jenny proved herself against the best athletes in the region by actually beating them, CY notwithstanding, in head-to-head competition. Sam may have been capable of beating the best guys in the state, i.e. Team MN, but he didn't actually do so.

By the way, current Triathlete of the Year Patrick Parish finished 2nd in the ROY voting in 2008 behind Kortney Haag. We wouldn't be surprised if in a year or two, Sam does likewise.

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