Race Previews

Lake Minnetonka Predictions...

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15th Edition LAKE MINNETONKA TRIATHLON - Few races have as loyal a following as this one. An outstanding venue and copious amenities are hallmarks of this annual classic, as is camradery and great competition....

 

The entrants list that we saw is now two weeks old, still we were impresed with how many of our state's best swim-bike-runners had signed up. It's exciting to know that many more have, or will, be on the starting line on June 15.

Here are some of the people who will be racing, along with their credentials and our predictions:

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PATRICK PARISH - A two-time runner-up here, Patrick's personall best on this course is 1:02:47. Only decorated pro / now retired DAVID THOMPSON has a faster time here. Parish, owner of seven national championship titles, was Minnesota's April/May Athlete of the Month. He's our pick to win the men's race.

JOSH BLANKENHEIM - Duluth's #1 male triathlete, Josh hasn't raced here since 2010. Prior to that, though, he podiumed twice and his personal best time is 1:03:54 (2009), the fourth quickest amateur clocking on this course. Based on the list we saw, Blank, who is newly engaged to Larissa, who is awesome!, is our silver medal pick.

SAM HAUCK - Based on his Team Minnesota season in 2018, Sam is our pick to round out the men's podium. It won't be easy for him, however. He'll need to keep three-time LMT champ BROOKS GROSSINGER in his rearview mirror, which is easier said than done, especially on this route.

Also expected to be competitive for the men are four-time winner BRETT LOVAAS, and ANDY ZABEL, who proved at Apple that he's paid his dues and is ready to bark with the Big Dogs.

Are any of the men's AG records in jeopardy? One is for sure. TONY SCHILLER, 61, who popped an insane 1:03:47 back in 2008 at the age of 50, should take a bite out of BEN EWERS' 60-64 mark (1:14:27).

We are also predicting an AG win for KYLE SWENSON, 17, though we aren't ready to predict an AGR. The current mark, which belongs to three-time Minnesota Junior of the Year MICHAEL WILLIAMS  (1:12:49!), has stood since 2006.

The women's race for Gold should come down to a fierce battle between 2017 and 2016 LMT winner CHRISTINA ROBERTS, and BECKY YOUNGBERG, who won the inaugural edition of this race back in 2004. These women had not raced each until two weekends ago at Buffalo, where Becky came out on top.

Three-time Master of the Year nominee ANDREA MYERS is our current pick to finish third, though we wouldn't be surprised if a later registrant, say, MAGGIE WEISS or LIV WILLIAMSEN, challenged Andi for the bronze.

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As for the AGs, here's some predictions:

16-19W - We're picking BELLA BUENTING to not only do what she did last year, i.e. win the division, but to take a run at KRISTINA SWENSON's stout junior CR (1:17:39)

50-54W - We give LAURA SWARTZ, based on past performances here, to have an edge here. JODY QUESNELL should be her toughest rival, unless CHERYL ZITUR decides to race, in which case, we predict a Zitur, Swartz, Quesnell podium, in that order. 

60-64W - The game changed on May 30 when super-grand-master JAN GUENTHER suffered a season-ending bike accident. In her absense, 2017 AG winner HELEN GUNTHER is our gold medal pick.

Approximately 550 athletes are expected to participate on June 15. We hope that you'll be one among them. RACE WEBSITE

 

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