Race Coverage

Darkhorses Shine at Buffalo Olympic...

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15th BUFFALO OLYMPIC - Forecasted heat and strong winds portended a higher than average no-show rate for yesterday's Buffalo Triathlon. An encouraging 682 athletes were registered, and 541 crossed the finish line....

 

So you know, the 2019 Buffalo Triathlon had 419 finishers.

Surprisingly, very few of the non-finishers were DNFs. Those who accepted the challenge did indeed face high heat--temps reached 86-degrees-- hot air was pushed around by 17-26 mph winds.They went the distance and came out stronger on the other end.

Women's pre-race favorite HEATHER LENDWAY, the former pro and Minnesota Athlete of the Decade (2011-2020), was one of the DNSs, thus the battle for the Top Step of the podium got much more competitive. On paper, it appeard that three-time Buffalo Olympic winner ELAINE NELSON, DIANE HANKEE, whose resume boasts  40 multisport wins, and four-time BT podium finisher CHRISTINA ROBERTS (top photo) would vie for the win. 

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Only one member of that decorated trio would climb the podium, though, while the other two finished in the 4th and 5th positions. Two darkhorse challengers claimed the silver and bronze medals. 

Exciting stuff!

First out of the water for the women was Roberts. No surprise there. The other top women were able to match Christina's splits on the bike and run, thus her swim split was sufficient to secure her victory, the 26th of her triathlon career.

In 2017, KATIE DEREGNIER enjoyed triathlon success. She won two races, and finished 4th in another. The races she won were small--Elysian and Lake Marion--and didn't feature seriously competitive fields, certainly not as competitive as Buffalo. 

Katie had raced sparingly since then, and her results did not suggest that she was quite ready to challenge Team Minnesota-quality athletes like Roberts, Hankee and Nelson.

On Sunday, though, it was obvious that the 33-year-old from Farmington was ready. At Buffalo, speed took to a back seat to toughness, and Katie was tougher than all but one of her elite peers. Her 2nd place finish against a great field definitely puts her on the Most Improved radar.

We can't wait to watch her race again.

Placing 3rd was 2019 Rookie of the Year runner-up CARYN HERRICK, a long course aficionado who continues to demonstrate star potential at sprint and Olympic distances.

Though times were understandably slower than in years past, three women nevertheless managed to rewrite Age Group records. 2018 Junior of the Year ARIANA WERTS, 19, won her AG with a 2:36:39, almost 18-minutes better than the old 16-19 mark. AMY WOOLSEY, 55, took her divisional title with a 2:42:48, almost seven minutes faster than the old record. And 68-year-old PAM STEVENS' 2:53:04 was more that 14 minutes better than the prior mark.  RESULTS

NEXT: The men's Olympic race.

 

 

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