Race Previews

Big Impact Weekend....


PREVIEWS - Next weekend is arguably the most impactful two days on the 2017 multisport calendar. Two local races --Blaine and Square Lake--happen on Saturday, September 9, then Ironman Wisconsin and 70.3 Worlds in Chattanooga, Tennessee, take place on Sunday. How Minnesotans perform in these events will have a UGE effect on this year's Minnesota Multisport Awards nominations, and placement on Team MInnesota.

Let's start with Blaine.

The MMA Committee will have their eyes on, among others, JOSH MORK, CHRIS TATTON and TAYLOR LUNDQUIST. A win could land Mork a spot on Team MInnesota, and maybe a Most Improved nomination. A win, or a masters record, could propel Tatton to a Master of the Year nomination.

As for Lundquist, 17, who appears to be a shoo-in for a Junior of the Year nomination, an overall podium finish and a Junior CR, could make her the frontrunner for the award.

Moving now to Ironman Wisconsin. We predict that honorary MInnesotan DANI FISCHER will win the women's title, though that will not impact the MMAs. It will, however, make us very, very happy.

We adore Dani.

Some of the athletes we will be closely watching at IMOO are NATHAN ANSBAUGH, SHEENA DAUER and CHERYL ZITUR. Ansbaugh's position on Team MInnesota could be affected, as will his position among those who, like himself, will probably receive a Most Improved nomination. A great effort may be trophy-worthy....


Dauer made Team MInnesota in 2015, and almost landed a spot there last season. As has been the case since 2012, making the women's team is super-tough. The depth of female talent in our state is incredible. Sheena will need to place highly, perhaps even set a PR (Current best: 10:40:41) to claim a spot on the team. We're pulling for her.


Cheryl Zitur has won the Master of the Year award in each of the last three years. As her current resume, one that was fraught with injury and bad luck, currently stands, she may not receive an MOY nomination. Winning her AG this weekend, especially if she posts a fast time, could earn her a nomination. Rock on, Cheryl Z!

We are especially stoked about 70.3 Worlds, especially concerning Minnesota women. At least seven ladies who appear destined for Team Minnesota placement are competing, and their team positions and MMA nominations will be impacted by their performances on Sunday. Those women, i.e. "The Magnificent Seven," are GABY BUNTEN, ERIN FARRENS, HANNA GRINAKER, KORTNEY HAAG, DIANE HANKEE, NICOLE HEININGER and DANI VSETECKA (top photo). It is even possible that a special performance by one of these women will determine the winner of the Triathlete of the Year.

Of the Minnesota men competing in Chattanooga, SEAN COOLEY and JOE ADRIAENS (photo R) appear to have the most to gain from a great effort. For Cooley, a big-time performance may earn him the TOY. For Joe, a great effort would be the difference from just being nominated for the MI award, and winning it. It would also affect his position on Team Minnesota.

We know that many of you are as anxious as we are to see how our fellow MInnesotans fare at next weekend's races.

Also, MTN congratulates PAM STEVENS, 64, on her convincing AG victory at Des Moines Escape last weekend. The performance qualified her for next year's Escape from Alcatraz. We also applaud St. Paul pro HEATHER LENDWAY on her 4th place finish in Des Moines.

Finally, voting for 2017 TRIATHLETES CHOICE RACE OF THE YEAR will get underway within the next week. The winner will be announced at the 19th annual Minnesota Multisport Awards Party at Gear West Bike & Triathlon on either October 28 or November 4. Details should be finalized by next week.




0 #1 Dani F 2017-09-06 16:34
I adore you too, Jerry! Looking forward to the onslaught of domination that is about to occur at the 70.3 World Championships by our very own Minnesota women. They are definitely going to show the world which state has the best female amateur triathletes. Wish I could be in two places at once, but I'll hold down the fort at IMOO. :)

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