Race Coverage

Couples Weekend in Chisago...


CHISAGO LAKES HALF IRONMAN - KARL NYGREN's first tri was the Chisago Lakes Half in 2019. Pretty bold. He jumped right over sprint and Olympic. His result was admirable, a 4:30:12 which landed him in the overall Top 15. Guy's got potential, right? Who knows, he might even bark with the Big Dogs some day? ...

That day was yesterday, where his second triathlon effort, once again at Chisago, produced not only a personal best, but a convincing overall victory.

The day was bright and hot. Temps were already in the mid-80s and the cloudless sky meant that there were few places to hide from a merciless sun when Nygren arrived in T2 well ahead of the field. Many would wilt under these conditions, but Karl hung tough and pushed to a 4:16:23, beating his rookie effort by almost 14-minutes and, more significantly, ultimately winning the race by a 5:39 margin over a guy, BRAD WOODFORD, who is enjoying a very successful season, one that features at win at Pleasant Prairie, and a 3rd behind 2019 Minnesota Triathlete of the Year PATRICK PARISH, and our state's June Athlete of the Month KYLE SWENSON.


In other words, Nygren is for real. We hope he plans to race more often than once every couple of years.

Placing 3rd yesterday was former High Cliff Half Iron winner / successful tri coach ANTHONY JAGIELO, who came within 17-seconds of catching Woodford. 

Anthony's family totally rocked at Chisago. His wife DEANA reached the Top Step of the women's podium in the Sprint race, but more on that later.

The Jagielos were one of several couples who enjoyed mutual success on Sunday. The HENRYs, MARK and MEGHAN and the SERREYNs, TRACY and PAUL, for instance, also collected hardware. 

The most successful couple, though, were NYGREN and fiance KELLY TROM. Like her future spousal unit, Kelly dominated the women's half similar to the way she had in 2015. Kelly popped a 4:42:43 yesterday, her margin of victory over runner-up LIZ LIEBERMAN of the Chicago area, though soon to relocate to Bloomington, Indiana, was almost eight minutes. Lieberman brought serious credientials to the race. She is a former Madison 70.3 and Chicago Olympic champion, and placed 3rd at Lake Placid Ironman a few years back. In other words, outperforming someone of Liz's caliber is a big deal.

Placing 3rd overall was long course rookie ELAINE NELSON, who cracked the 5-hour barrier with a 4:57:10.

We had high hopes and expections for KATIE DEREGNIER. She's racing lights out this season and is squarely on the most improved radar. Well, she didn't better her 5:08 personal best yesterday, settling for a 12th place finish in 5:14:32. But there was a very good reason for that. A missed turn resulted in her riding 63 miles, not 56. By our calculations, she lost at least 19-minutes, which meant that she would have not only crushed her PR, she would landed in 3rd place overall. To say we are impressed with her perserverance would be an understatement.

The heat and exposure made record-setting impossible for most of the age groupers, everyone except JAN GUENTHER, that is. The 62-year-old endurance outlier rewrote the women 60-64 course best, taking it down fronm 5:36:10 to 5:20:13. It's what she does. She now owns three AG records at Chisago, and despite a knee injury, one that may require future surgery, she has set records in eachof the four races she's done this summer.

Four hundred and twelve of the 659 total finishers were 70.3 participants. RESULTS

ED. Chisago Sprint coverage will post later thus week.

Top Photo - Kelly Trom and Carl Nygren. Page 2 photo - The Jagielos, Anthony, Gavin and Deana.