Race Coverage

A Showcase For Frontrunners....


MAPLE GROVE TRIATHLON - This race has always been a showcase for frontrunners. 

We're talking about those who have clearly established themselves as nominees for post-season honors.

The clearest example of this last Saturday was WADE CRUSER's and BECKY YOUNGBERG's dominance in the Olympic competition. Both athletes were on a winning spee when they entered the race. Becky had won her last two races, both in record time, and her entire 2018 scorecard convincingly showed that the 43-year-old Eden Prairie mom was the Master of the Year frontrunner.

Wade arrived at Weaver Lake Park with three consecutive wins in as many weeks under his belt, one of which was a course record. He came into the race as a prohibitive favorite, "prohibitive" because you never know what college studs are going to show up on race day. ...

"I Tried to Make Things Exciting"...


By Ryan Collison


Young Life Triathlon Race Report - Well MTN Guys, your 1-2 predictions were right for Young Life!  I tried to make things exciting, but Dave just had an awesome run in him this weekend. 

Going in, I really respected Dave’s run speed and I knew that I would have to get off the bike 3 min ahead of him and have a solid run to win.  

The swim and bike went well.  I spend most of the bike ride appreciating the traffic control car staying far enough ahead of me to not provide a draft, but close enough to keep an eye on me and keep traffic under control.  How often do we hear about the traffic control interfering at Ironman races or the Tour?  These guys got it right!  A very nice detail highlighting just how well run this local race is!

Coming into T2, I knew I had a gap and felt good....there was a chance!  After the first mile I just couldn’t get the turn over I needed to have a fast run, but how much gap did I have?  Could I just hang on? ...

Branden & Becky Keep Rockin'....


YOUNG LIFE TRIATHLON - Fargo's BRANDEN SCHEEL (photo) continues to rock socks. Of the seven triathlons he's raced in this season, he's won five of them, four on the Minnesota side of the Red River, and all in course record time. In his two non-winning efforts, he placed 2nd (amateur) at Chattanooga 70.3 in  a personal best 4:12:51, and cracked the Top 10 at USAT Sprint Nationals.

The young man's most recent win happened last Saturday at the 15th annual Young Life Sprint in Detroit Lakes. Once out of the lake and on his bike, the race for first was over. He could have jogged to the finish line, saving himself for his next race. But he didn't. Instead he threw down a 16:41 5k run split.

The result was a time of 56:54, giving him a 7:25 margin of victory over runner-up THOMAS LOEGERING of West Fargo, who, as they say, aint no slouch. Tom won this race in 2017. 

Scheel's time lowered LINCOLN MURDOCH's 2009 sprint course record by a hefty 1:51.

Third place went to accomplished junior JACK HENNEN, 18, of Cambridge.

For the second straight year a girl named LUNDQUIST won YL's women's sprint title. Last year, that Lundquist was named TAYLOR,17, who went on to win the 2017 Junior of the Year award. This time, though, Taylor's sister SIMONE, 15, took the title in her sibling's absence. (Taylor had already enrolled at Black Hills State University, and was following Simone's race progress on her "device" in her dorm room.)

In '17, Simone placed 2nd, her time was 1:13:32. She was almost three minutes faster this time. She was challenged by KEIRSTEN COOLEY, 29, of Fargo,who finished 21-seconds behind Lundquist....

Positive Signs!



ST. PAUL TRIATHLON - Is triathlon attendance rebounding?

If last weekend's tris--St. Paul and Young Life--are any indication, the answer just might be "yes."

Young Life's attendance was record-setting, and with 398 finishers, St. Paul's was more than two and a half times larger than it was in 2016. (St. Paul was cancelled in 2017 due to park and roadway construction.)

It could be that, in part, there has been a nice influx of new participants of late. At St. Paul, newbies were asked to raise their hands before the event, and a surprising number of hands went up.

There was also a playful vibe at Lake Phalen. Most participants appeared to be committed to having fun, even those athletes who were very serious about their performances.

And there were some seriously great performances. The womens' Sprint, for instance, turned into a knock-down-drag-out affair between emerging talents, HEATHER TAYLOR and EMILY GAGE. On paper, Gage seemed to have a slight edge. In her last two races--Minneapolis Sprint and Big Lake Sprint--she had finished 2nd and 1st, respectively.

Taylor had impressed us with her efforts at Minneapolis Olympic (11th) and High Cliff Olympic (4th), two very compettive events.

On Saturday, Taylor crossed the finish line first, making her the leader in the clubhouse. Would Gage, 32, who started after the 22-year-old University of Minnesota triathlete, close the gap? ...

Training Partners Win at Green Lake...

glfinisher.pngED. The Lakes Area Review is based in New London, Minnesota. Their sports editor, Brett Blocker, covered last Sunday's Green Lake Triathlon, and gave us permission to repost. The results at the bottom are of Willmar area athletes.
By Brett Blocker (lakesareareview.com)
Audiences were treated to some of the finest weather the Green Lake Triathlon has had in recent memory, as Sunday’s mild 75-degree morning was a far cry from last year’s torrential downpour. 
Not that the athletes would have minded of course...
As per annual tradition, by 10:30 a.m., Saulsbury Beach became an assemblage of 169 exhausted endurance athletes each, struggling to regain a baseline heart rate and body temperatures after a taxing three-sport race. Among them: two new record-setters, and one very near miss.
While this year’s top overall Olympic time went to 31-year-old Wade Cruser, of Sauk Rapids – finishing a full five minutes ahead of his closest competitor and just three seconds shy of record-holder Marcus Strummer’s 2014 time of 1:41:53 – the most impressive performance of the morning belonged to 43-year-old Becky Youngberg, of Eden Prairie....

Different From "Regular" Triathlon....


By Macy Iyer, 14

Last weekend (August 4-5) I participated in the USA Triathlon Youth/Junior Elite National Championships in West Chester, Ohio - this is a draft-legal championship for 13-19 year olds and it was my second year doing this race (I raced the not-draft-legal age group race there ages 10-12). Draft legal racing is quite a bit different than "regular" triathlon - the swim becomes much more important, and you have to use a lot of strategy on the bike course, creating and working with a bike pack, and the course is a lot more technical (several 180 turns and lollipops). There are 75 people in each race (4 different races - male, female, 13-15 year olds and 16-19 year olds - I'm 14). There are 5 qualifying races during 2018 around the country to determine who gets to the National race, and I did two of them.

I had a really good race at the final qualifier in Des Moines (Flatlands Triathlon) and finished 8th - my highest finish in draft-legal so far - but my goal for Nationals was just to be in the top 25 because all the top girls from all the races would be at Nationals. My coach Jenny Weber (from my Z3 Triathlon team) thought I could place higher. I also have many really strong girls in my age group just from my own team (we had 10 of the 75 spots)...

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