Race Previews

Scheel and Woolsey Picked to Prevail Again....


CHAIN OF LAKES RACE PREVIEW – Since the millennial turn, North Dakotans have fared well in Minnesota multisport races. Starting with Bismarck's Melanie Carvell, her state's original tri pioneer, then progressing to Marlina Walth, also from the state capitol, these women have made Team MInnesota on several occasions. Marnie, in fact, has placed as high as second, doing so in 2005.

Minnesota's 2014 Rookie of the Year, Nick Nygaard, grew up in Wahpeton before relocating to Duluth.

And, of course, there's Sean Cooley, who moved from Grand Forks to St. Paul a few years back. He won the Triathlete of the Year title in 2017, but he wasn't the first North Dakotan to do that. Fargo's Rob Gilles won that, and several other, awards in 2001.

So, is there another talented ND athlete on the horizon, someone destined for recognition in our state, and perhaps even a spot on Team Minnesota?

We think so. His name is Branden Scheel. He is twenty-two and a resident of Fargo. Last year he raced admirably at several Minnesota triathlons, as well as at Racine 70.3, where he won his AG.

Here are some of his 2017 results:

1st @ Chain of Lakes

1st @ Perham Triathlon

2nd @ Young Life Olympic

4th @ Hoot Lake

9th @ Buffalo Olympic

Branden is also an outstanding road racer, as his 2nd at Fargo Half and 3rd at Dick Beardsley in 2017 clearly attest....


Scheel will be racing in Alexandria again this weekend, and is our clear pick to repeat as champion at CHAIN OF LAKES, which will celebrate, if you can believe it, it's 17th anniversary. Last year he popped a brisk 56:35, the fastest men's clocking since Marcus Stromberg set his CR (55:51) in 2014. (FYI – there were fast times in 2015, but the bike course appeared to have been a bit short, probably to accommodate construction.)

We're hoping that Branden will challenge Stromberg's mark this weekend, perhaps even slipping under the 56:00 mark.

Will he be challenged? Sure. Last year's Speedo-wearing bronze medalist COREY NYGAARD (top photo with Branden) is returning, and we think he will be faster than ever. He's dedicated and having fun. That's a great recipe for improvement.

We also expect a late registrant or two, and we hope there will be LOTS of them, to contend for podium spots.

As for the women, one of our favorite people, AMY WOOLSEY, now 52, is our pick to win again. A victory would be her third straight here at COLT. Her stiifest challenge should come from 16-year-old Rochester resident ARIANNA WERTS.

We also expect Sartell's decorated PAM STEVENS, now 65, to not only blow the doors off her her new AG's CR, but to crack the overall women's Top 5. She's done it many times before.

COLT is a fun, low key event in a great small city. This event, and the town's amenities, are great reasons to make the trip to Alexandria next Saturday. RACE WEBSITE


0 #1 Hopper 2018-05-02 15:19
Matty has a tennis tournament that derailed my plans to race COLT. Damn kids.

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