Race Coverage

Maggie and Preston Took Charge...


LAKE MINNETONKA TRIATHLON - Only three times in the LMT's eighteen runnings had a woman dominated her gender like MAGGIE SWANSON (photo L) did on Saturday. Two of those times were by former world and national (twice) champion HEATHER LENDWAY, and the other by BECKY YOUNGBERG, whose career resume boasts at least 45 multisport wins. (Becky's performance was recorded in LMT's inaugural edition back in 2005.)

When Swanson crossed the finish line in 6th place overall, she would have more than four minutes to recover before her eventual podium-mates came into view. Only six seconds apart when they crossed, the veteran CHRISTINA ROBERTS, a 25-race winner in her stellar career, managed stay in front of hard-charging newcomer ELENA HENGEL, who was coming off an impressive victory at Buffalo Sprint. Hengel needed to push because college star / LMT junior record holder ISABELLA BUENTING was less than ten seconds in arrears.

Exciting stuff! ...


Though the margin of victory--1:48--was not as substantial as Swanson's, men's winner PRESTON YOUNGDAHL managed to record the largest men's  MOV on this course since 2013. As expected, last year's LMT winner / 2021 US Junior of the Year KYLE SWENSON, now 20, was his chief rival, and did indeed earn the tall trophy version of the silver medal.

Proving that he is the clear frontrunner for 2022 Minnesota Junior of the Year, 16-year-old NOAH BILLINGS claimed the final podium step, which required outracing the 4th-place finisher, KURT YOUNGDAHL (photo R), Preston's  younger brother. Kurt was nominated for Minnesota Rookie of the Year in 2021.

The conditions were favorable--clear, not too warm and not too windy--and the event was flawlessly executed, but no records were rewritten, though JAN GUENTHER, 63, as we might expect, came very close to doing so. The swim course had a few bumps was a bit long, keeping even the faster swimmers in the water for perhaps two minutes longer than anticipated.

As always, the LMT sold out early, allowing the organizers  to donate $20K to their designated charities. Post-race entertainment was provided by Minneapolis band "Pandora's Other Box," who were awesome. Ah!

Excelsior Commons was a great place to be spend Father's Day Eve last Saturday morning.