Race Previews

Great Numbers. Great Competition...

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16th BUFFALO TRIATHLON Preview II - Approximately 600 athletes are currently signed up for next Sunday's Buffalo Triathlon.That's awesome. In 2019 four hundred and sixteen triathletes crossed the finish line, so the increased registrations point to a successful rebound.

We're hoping that  by race day, 700-or more athletes will be in attendance. Help make that happen, okay?

Today we are making some predictions about the women's competition in both the Olympic and Sprint races, starting with the longer event.

Podium Predictions, in alpha order:

DIANE HANKEE - Diane has won at least  40 multisport races in her illustrious career, the most recent being the Apple Du two weeks ago. Her best finish at Buffalo was a 7th in 2011. She has not raced on the current course, that has been in place since 2015. She is a much better...

triathlete now than she was back then and should be a podium shoo-in. Yes, she  could win on Sunday, which would take a 2:14 or better.  

ELAINE NELSON - Three of Diane's 21 career multisport wins have been at Buffalo. She knocked some rust off at Apple, thus she should be in the hunt for the Top Step.

CHRISTINA ROBERTS - A four-time podium finisher  at Buffalo OLympic, albeit without a win. Her PR on the current course is slightly better than  Diane's. If she picks up where she left off in 2019, this could be the year she wins. A victory would be the 26th of her triathlon career.

There is a podium wild card here to consider. CARYN HERRICK, though she appears to prefer long distance races, has demonstrated that she can be competitive with our region's best on shorter  courses. In 2019, her rookie season, she podiumed at Heart of the Lakes and  collected her first career W at Hopkins.

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Because the list we saw does not include which of the races the  athletes are signed up for, we are reluctant to make AG predictions. Still, we asssume that 2020 Grande Master of the Year LISA HINES and AMY WOOLSEY (photo R) will battle for the 55-59  title, and PAM STEVENS will set an new 65-69 racord.

SPRINT Podium Predictions (alpha order):

ISABELLA  BUENTING, 18 - In her only local tri last summer, Bella threw down a close 2nd place finish at Big Lake, clearly the Junior Performance of the Year. She placed 4th in a divisional record here in 2019. Is she ready to win next weekend? She might be.

BETTINA KEPPERS, 37 - Bettina podiumed in 2019 and 2016. Her PR here is 1:07:06. She'll need to lop at least a minute off that in order to win. We see her making the Top 3 again.

CHERYL ZITUR, 56 (top photo) - Since the age of 49, Zitur has amassed  16 triathlon wns, three of them at Buffalo Sprint. Can she still win? Her couse record was set  in 2016, and her 2019 win was a little over two minutes slower. She finished 2020 season with a win at Square Lake, so yes, she can win on Sunday, but she has her work cur out for her.

AG predictions? We would be shocked if LAURA SWARTZ, a two-time women's winner here, didn't win the 50-54 category and crack the overall Top 10.

NEXT POST: Men's Podium Predictions.

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