Race Previews

Deepest Men's Field of the Season?

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LAKE WACONIA XXIX PREVIEW II - Which Minnesota race will draw the deepest men's field of the 2018 season? We'd be surprised if it wasn't Lake Waconia.

Typically, a regional elite male will come into a race targeting a spot in the Top 5, or against especially tough fields, the Top 10. At Sunday's LWT, though, there will be several guys who win races and consistently reach podiums that will not crack the Top 10. Exciting stuff.

So, who are the guys who will battle  for the top spots? 

Here are some of them, in alpha order:

JOE ADRIAENS - Runner-up for the Most Improved award last year, we think that he is ready to take his place among the best in our region.

NATHAN ANSBAUGH - After flatting at Liberty, then having Lake Minnetonka called in mid-race, LW's defending champion is itching for a big performance. Another win? It's possible, but certainly a podium.

JOSH BLANKENHEIM - Duluth's numero uno, Josh has podiumed at LW three times.

JAKE BRAAM - Runner-up for the Rookie of the Year award in 2017, he is especially hungry right now. We think he'll have to run some guys down, which he is very capable of doing, in order to land in the Top 10.

SEAN COOLEY (photo L) - He won here in 2016 in course record time. The 2017 Minnesota Triathlete of the Year is certainly one of the favorites to win on Sunday.

WADE CRUSER - Cruser has been Top 3 on Team MInnesota the last two years. He's making his LW debut.

BROOKS GROSSINGER - A two-time podium finisher here.

JOSH MORK - Josh is a wild card. Like Joe Adrieans, he appears to be ready to take his place among the elites in our region....

 

KEVIN O'CONNOR - KO is a four-time runner-up at LW, and he owns the Masters record.

MATTHEW PAYNE - The Pain Train is a four-time Minnesota Triathlete of the Year who has won this race thrice. He's hard to bet against, but so is Cooley.

BRAIN SAMES - Brian is a darkhorse. We need to keep in mind that he won four of the seven multis he did in 2017.

TED TREISE - Like Mork and Adrieans, Teddy's star is rising. Like them, he will likely beat a few guys that he hasn't beaten before.

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ANDY WIBERG - Andy's cracked the Top 5 here before, and come close to doing so on three other occasions.

The guys listed above are not the only viable Top 10 candidates, we're sure. It's quite possible that someone like Patrick Parish will register. It's also possible that someone who hasn't been a part of the discussion in the past will turn some heads.

The women's race will also be epic, though the field will not be as deep as the men's. Still, there's much to get excited about.

Who do we expect to lead the way?

SUZIE FOX - Suzie is a two-time LWT champion.

HANNA GRINAKER (Top Photo) - Hanna blew the women's CR away in 2016, and she is fit enough to challenge, or perhaps even lower, that mark on Sunday.

NICOLE HEININGER - LW was a launching pad race  for Nicole. Since her surprise 2nd in 2013, her rookie season, she has gone on to win this race twice.

CHRISTINA ROBERTS - Our state's winningest multisportswoman in 2017, Roberts has podiumed here three times.

MAGGIES WEISS (photo R)- Maggie blew the women's field away earlier this year at the Capitol View Olympic Triathlon in Madison, Wisconsin. She needs to be taken very seriously.

 

So, let's make some AG predictions. Here are our picks to win most of the categories:

0019 - CARTER DEICHMAN & TAYLOR LUNDQUIST

4044 - MATT PAYNE & ANDREA MYERS 

4549 - KEVIN O'CONNOR & LORI DESCHAMPS (AK)

5054W - CHERYL ZITUR

5559W - JAN GUENTHER

6064 - TONY SCHILLER & HELEN GUNTHER

6569W - PAM STEVENS

7579 - DARYL STEVENS

 

 

 

 

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