Race Coverage

Clearwater Sprint XIII Coverage...


13th GRANITEMAN CLEARWATER SPRINT - In the Olympic race, the favorites raced each other head-to-head, that is, they started in the same wave. Not so in the Sprint. The clear men's favorites were ANDY ZABEL(photo), who was undefeated in two starts this season, and BROOKS GROSSINGER, whose career tri / du resume boasts at least 38 wins. Though their respective waves were only three minutes apart, these guys are too evenly matched for the later starter to catch the earlier one.

The gulf between the favorites in the women's race might turn out to be a replay of Buffalo Sprint, with talented upstart ELENA HENGEL launching well ahead of 18-race winner CHERYL ZITUR. At Buffalo, Hengel came out on top, though not until several nail-biting minutes had passed. 

Would history repeat itself? Not necessarily, though Hengel's podium finish behind national classers Maggie Swanson and Christina Roberts the previous weekend at Lake Minnetonka suggested that the might...

Hengel raced hard, crossing the line in a time - 1:14:04 - that would have won nine of the previous 13 sprint races on this course. She and everyone else at the finish line watched the clock. If Zitur needed more than six minutes to go the distance, Elena would record her second win in three starts this season.

The minutes ticked off slowly, but not all of them. Zitur crossed the bridge and rounded the final corner, and the win, career number-19 and her second win here (2015), was in the bag. Her final time was 1:12:37, a winner by a 1:27 margin. Crossing just in front of Zitur was 2021 Sprint winner BETTE ROWLEY, though she started in an earlier wave. Rowley's final time was 1:15:32, landing her in 3rd place.

Breaking down Zabel's and Grossinger's splits, we learn that Brooks had a one-minute lead after the swim, but Zabel made that up on the bike. His run also padded his lead. The result was that Zabel remained undefeated thus far in '22, and his excellent time - 1:05:03--was an amateur record, second only to Ted Treise's pro best 1:03:10. Andy's record was 1:10 better than Josh Mork's previous amateur best.

Brooks raced well, his 1:06:07 would have won most of the prior editions of this event.

Placing 3rd for the men was 19-year-old CARSON ROEHL, who also was the junior champ at Buffalo Sprint last month.

Between the two races - Olympic and Sprint, 246 athletes crossed the finish  line.  RESULTS