Race Previews

Lakes Country Turns 20!...

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LAKES COUNTRY TRIATHLON PREVIEW - Can you believe it? Lakes Country Triathlon is turning 20 on Sunday?

The LCT, based at Whipple Lake in Baxter, is a very cool race and we'd love to see the enrollment top the 200-mark.

We were allowed to see an entrant list and are certain that the competition, both up front and in the age groups, will be exciting.

Let's make some predictions, which are not to be taken too seriously, okay? The goal is to stimulate interest and conversation.

So, our men's pick to win is last year's runner-up JOSH BLANKENHEIM. Josh is having a stellar season. He's won two major events (Timberman and Brewhouse), both in very fast times. His 1:57:15 at BH Olympic was a course record.

His 2nd behind PATRICK PARISH, our state's winningest multisportsman this year, at Heart of the Lakes was also a resume-enhancer.

Blank's 58:27 last year was the 2nd fastest time ever on this route. Can he match or break WADE CRUSER's course best 56:55 on Sunday? Weather permitting, we think he can....

 

The list we saw did not include CRUSER, ANDY ZABEL and BRIAN STORHAUG. Wade said he is taking the year off. Andy and Brian, however, are racing lights-out this season, and we'd be surprised if either or both of them were not on the starting line.

JACQUELYNE BACIGALUPI won the women's race last year. Based on the list we saw, her toughest competition this year should come from TARA MAKINEN and SIMONE LUNDQUIST. If Tara races like she did at Timberman and Buzz Ryan, she is our pick to win. Simone, 16, is coming off a win last weekend at Young Life. Her week-to-week performances have shown steady improvement. She'll need to be much faster here than in 2018, but we expect her to be.

This trio, in any order, could finish within seconds of each other, and we're anxious to see how this plays out.

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There should be lots of fireworks in the AG races. Here's some predictions:

- 00-19W - SIMONE LUNDQUIST. (Simone's good friend MORGAN BELL, 16, is enjoying a breakout season and could crack the women's overall Top 5 - 7.)

- 00-19M - JACK HENNEN - (Back from injury, he should be anxious to race. He's defending boys junior winner here.)

- 40-44W - TARA MAKINEN (Though we are not dismissing BACIGALUPI's chances here.)

- 45-49M - DAVID LEWIS (David won here in 2013, and is expected to place highly, especially after last week's win at Young Life Olympic, and his 2nd the previous weekend at Northwoods.)

- 50-54M - DANIEL DUFF - (An agressive racer, he'll be challenged by 2019 LCT 50-54M winner SCOTT DEZURIK.)

- 50-54W - STEPHANIE ETTERMAN (We're predicting a successful AG defense for Stephanie.)

- 55-59M - SCOTT RANSOM (A lapsed racer. It's good to have him back on the scene. Talented athlete and totally cool guy.)

- 55-59W - LISA HINES - (Impressed with her AG wins at Clearwater and Chisago, still, Lisa will have her hands full with MARY DEEG on Sunday.)

- 60-64W - LAURIE PAYTON (Has racked up a bushel of AG wins this year.) 

- 70-74M - RICK HANS (Haven't seen results for Rick since 2017. He's won his AG more often than not over the years.)

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