Race Coverage

Eckhoff Breaks Out....

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16th BUFFALO SPRINT COVERAGE - As in the women's Olympic distance race, a darkhorse claimed the bronze medal podium spot in the Sprint, placing behind amazing 56-year-old CHERYL ZITUR, which is pronounced "Zitter," not "Zee-ter," who rocked her fourth win here, and 2013 Buffalo Sprint winner CATHERINE LEE, 47. Zitur was also the only athlete in the sprint field to lower an Age Group record, which is something she does every time she races. ...

Cheryl now has 17 career triathlon wins, all coming after the age of 49.

Here's the breakdown:

First across the line was reigning junior record holder ISABELLA BUENTING, 18. A first waver in a race without an elite heat, she  had some time to wait and worry as other women battled through the difficult conditions, which included a renegade turn buoy that added, according to a GPS we saw, 320 meters to an already turbulent swim.

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Bella waited for a eleven nail-biting minutes before the next woman arrived, a 35-year from Detroit Lakes named CAMI ECKHOFF (top photo). Unfortunately for Bella, Cami's wave started 13 minutes after hers. Eckoff, who has a solid past results in limited tri starts, was now the leader in the clubhouse. It was a true breakout performance for the fan of "The Bachelor."

Four minutes went by before CATHERINE LEE, 47, temporarily took the lead, and relegated Eckhoff to second place. 

Then the pesky ZITUR, from the 16th wave, determined the outcome. Her margin of victory over Lee was 1:27. And Eckhoff came away with a 3rd, a satisfying result against a high-caliber field.

Fourth and fifth were earned by Buenting and three-time Master of the Year nominee CHRISTEL KIPPENHAN.

In the men's race, the five projected frontrunners lived up to expectation. BROOKS GROSSINGER (photo), on the strength of his field-leading bike and run splits came out on  top. The win was the 36th of his multisport career.

2019 Buffalo Sprint winner MIKE BUENTING grabbed 2nd ahead of 3rd-placing JOSH MORK, who laughed afterwards, noting that he had raced at Buffalo on eleven prior occasions, yet still managed to make a wrong turn on the bike. His pandemic hair, long and lank, looked cool, and gave off a Harry Stiles vibe.

Fourth and fifth at Buff Sprint were earned by BRIAN STORHAUG, a two-time runner-up here, and RYAN COLLISON.  RESULTS

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