Race Coverage

Weekend Observations

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Here's some observations about last weekend's races:

 

- GRANITEMAN BIG LAKE - For the MTN Guys, the highlight of this year's Big Lake races was that three of the four overall champs were first-time winners, though we were not surprised by this. The Olympic-distance race was won by RYAN COLLISON, a Graniteman veteran and perennial Top 5 finisher, and KATHERINE JOHNSON, who podiumed at G-Man Clearwater in 2017, a breakout season for her.

Joining BRIAN STORHAUG in the Winners Circle in the Sprint race was EMILY GAGE (photo below), last year's runner-up at this event. In '17, she finished 2nd behind Junior of the Year-to-be TAYLOR LUNDQUIST. This time around, that order was flip-flopped.

Gage's 2nd place effort at Minneapolis Sprint in mid-July suggested that her first career multi win would come sooner than later. 

FYI - Storhaug was also victorious at the last two editions of Clearwater Sprint. RESULTS

 

 

- WASECA SPRINT - We were pulling for KELLI MORETTER-BUE to rack up her first career W, but she ultimately had to settle for 2nd place, though not by much. Thirty seconds to be exact. The women's winner was an accomplished triathlete from North Aurora, Illinois, named KARAH OSTERBERG. We watched her podium at High Cliff Olympic in late June, and was aware of her runner-up effort at Lake Zurich (IL) Sprint. But her appearance at Waseca took us by surprise. We are very happy for Kelli. She gave Osterberg a run for her money.

As for the men at Waseca, decorated masters BROOKS GROSSINGER and BRETT LOVAAS, who have at least 65 multisport wins between them, went 1-2 respectively. Brooks also won here in 2017. RESULTS

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- BREWHOUSE SPRINT - The deepest of the Brewhouse fields this year was in the women's Sprint. 2017 champ LISA LENDWAY was back, as was 2016 winner / CR-owner BETTINA KEPPERS, as well as last year's Junior of the Year TAYLOR LUNDQUIST, and four-time BH Sprint winner since the millennial turn, JENA OGSTON. Then you can add the always competitive CHRISTEL KIPPENHAN, a three-time MOY nominee, and sprint aficionado TARA MAKINEN.

Like Cruser in the olympic race, Keppers rocked a huge bike split (24 mph), which gave her a four minute T2 lead over Kippenhan, who was followed by Lendway. Game over. Here are the Top 7 women:

1. Bettina Keppers - 1:08:01, 2. Lisa Lendway - 1:09:58, 3. Christel Kippenhan - 1:11:05, 4. Taylor Lundquist - 1:12:54, 5. Jena Ogston  1:13:43, 6. SHYANNE MCGREGOR (a tri rookie! - Top Photo with her kiddos) - 1:13:47, 7. Tara Makinen - 1:14:52.

Oh yeah, MIKE WARD won the men's sprint race for the seventh time, and 55-59ers JOHN KELLEY and Thunder Bay's SHERRY LYNN HILL managed to set divisional marks.

 

- BREWHOUSE OLYMPIC - A week after WADE CRUSER PRed in a 4th place finish at Chisago Half IM, he threw down a course record performance at muggy Brewhouse Olympic. We mention the humidity because times in general appeared to have been affected. Runner-up JOSH BLANKENHEIM, a two-time BH winner / former CR-holder, claimed he couldn't generate much speed on the run leg, suggesting that thick air may have played a role, though he still posted a sub-2-hour time. It was the first time since this course was introduced that more than one amateur male cracked the 120-minute mark.

Back to Wade. His time was 1:57:47, lowering Blank's prior race best by 22 seconds, and it required a mega-bike split (56:41), 'cuz, like Josh, he was not able to generate his typical fleetness afoot after he dismounted. Had his run not been 38:59, but, say, the 36 he turned in on a harder course at Buffalo in 2016, his final time would have rivaled DKT's winning time here in 2015. (NOTE: David Thompson was a pro, and MTN distinquishes pro and amateur records.)

Despite the sultry conditions, two AG records were rewritten by out-of-staters. Thunder Bay's KRIS NISULA, 42, lowered the masters record to 2:06:52 with his 3rd place overall effort. No surpise there. Kris Nis also podiumed earlier this season at Timberman, and placed 4th against a great men's field at Liberty Olympic.

The other AGR was set by decorated Vermonter DOT MARTIN, 58, whose 2:30:25, a 6:55 lowering of the prior divisional best, landed her in 5th place overall.

At the front of the women's Olympic race was, of course, ELAINE NELSON, who claimed her 4th BH title, third at the Island Lake venue. Her time was very impressive under the circumstances: 2:13:18. Last year's bronze medalist, KAYLA KJELLMAN of Thunder Bay, took the silver this time around. And likely Master of the Year nominee / Brewhouse rookie ANDREA MYERS, who admitted that she wilted on the run, claimed 3rd. RESULTS

 

MINNEWASKA TRIATHLON - Like Wade Cruser, ANDY ZABEL set a PR at Chisago Half on July 29. And like Wade, he followed that with a win the next weekend. It was Zabel's second consecutive W at Lake Minnewaska, and 6th victory of his multisport career.

The women's champ was ANGIE HOP, who is a Hoot!. Ang also won this race in 2014, and last Saturday's win was the landmark 10th of her tri career. RESULTS 

 

 

Comments   

0 #2 Ryan Collison 2018-08-08 12:45
Thanks Kevin! The weather wasn’t what we always dream of in training, but it turned out to be a pretty good day!
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0 #1 Kevin Oconnor 2018-08-08 11:31
Congrats to Ryan Collison. He is a great guy who loves to compete. Very happy for him! Hard work paid off! And WOW. What a weekend of performances by so many.
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