Race Previews

2019 Maple Grove Triathlon: Anticipation...

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MAPLE GROVE TRIATHLON PREVIEW - COACH KRIS sent us a copy of his event's entrant list last week. Even knowing that the field would swell significantly between then and race day, plus knowing that, historically, many extremely competitive athletes are later sign-ups, we became very excitied by what we saw....

 

Once again, the women's races, Olympic and Sprint alike, will be super-competitive.

As for the men's fields, we are reasonably sure that the eventual winners, and their podium-mates, will sign up this week. We'd be surprised, for instance, if collegiate stars JEFF METTLER (ISU) and KAELEB ROYSTER (IU) didn't enroll. 

We'd love to see rookie pro TED TREISE have a great race. Sidelined by injuries for much of the year, we hope that pain or rust doesn't prevent him from performing at the peak of his abilities.

And then there's PATRICK PARISH, our state's top guy this year. He could find his way to the starting line.

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Back to the women. Even if course-record holder BECKY YOUNGBERG decides not to race (she's undecided right now), the ladies podium will be stellar. HANNA GRINAKER wll make her Maple Grove debut, and yes, she will be the favorite, unless defending National champ RACHEL MENSCH makes the trek from Madison Wisconsin to Weaver Lake Park.

If Rachel doesn't race, then KORTNEY HAAG, winner of two of the three races she's done this season, and 2014 MGO winner / two-time MGO runner-up CHRISTINA ROBERTS will give Grinaker a great race.

Other women who could decide to race this week include KELLY TROM, 2nd here in 2018, The U's RACHEL ZILINSKAS, and 2015 MGO winner / 2018 National Champion GABY BUNTEN. And if Gaby races, perhaps her fiance KRIS SPOTH (photo), a three-time MGO winner, will too.

In other words, there's a lot of anticipation in the air

As for the Sprint, the BIG question is: Can CHERYL ZITUR, now 55, claim her 6th (!) straight win here? We don't like to bet against her, but we are so impressed with the way JENNIFER FITZHARRIS-FUNK is racing this season, that she is our prohibitive pick to win. JFF faced Cheryl Z at the YWCA Women's Tri two weekends ago. Jennifer won the race, and Cheryl placed 3rd.

Do we expect the women's Sprint field to get deeper with each passing day? Sure. And our predictions could be upended if, for instance, 2018's Silver medalist, DIANE HANKEE, and/or Bronze medalist SARA RONDORF decide to race.

As for the men's Sprint, Junior boys claimed three of the Top 4 spots last year, and a similar scenario could play out next Saturday. If defending Sprint champ KYLE SWENSON, now 17, is on hand, he's our pick to repeat.

At least 1000 athletes are expected to paricipate at Weaver Lake Park next Saturday. Pretty cool, huh!  RACE WEBSITE

 

UPDATE: Becky Youngberg has decided to return to Maple Grove! The aniticipation level has just gone up another notch.

ALSO: OOPS! Apologies for stating that MGO's adult races are on Sunday (since corrected). They are on Saturday.

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