Race Previews

Minnesotans Head For Milwaukee...


2021 AGE GROUP NATIONALS - Next wekend will mark the fourth time that Milwaukee will host the AG National Championships, and there's a very good reason for the return to The Cream City (Yes, that is Milwaukee's nickname!). Not all host cities have produced awesome Nationals, like say, Columbia, Maryland did in the mid and late 90s. And no host has been awesomer than Milwaukee. Local organizers have truly set a high bar.

We also recall the earlier Milwaukee races because our own tri-superstar HEATHER LENDWAY, won the women's title there TWICE! Great memories, indeed....

So, how will Minnesotans fare in Cream Town, or should it be renamed "Bucks City" after their terrific NBA Champions, next weekend?

Well, our numbers will not match those of 2013-2015, though many of those who will race will doubtless earn berths on Team USA. (The 2022 ITW Worlds will be held in Townsville, Queensland, Australia.) But are there any Minnesotans who have a shot at a podium finish in their respective divisions in the Olympic competition?

Yes. Let's start with the most obvious: TONY SCHILLER, 63 (photo). The guy has more Nationals and World titles (and podiums) than you can count. Never bet against him.


Then there's PAM STEVENS, 68. She's won her AG and podiumed before, and has a good chance to do so again. Our fingers are crossed.

Our state's fast 55-59-year-old women will be well-represented, albeit without JULIA WEISBECKER, 55, and CHERYL ZITUR, 56, who would be definite podium hopefuls. And because the list we saw was about 10-days old, it is stil possible that one or both of them will enroll. But if they don't, SUE RUBENS, 55, and AMY WOOLSEY, 56, could finish among their division's leaders. 

We believe that KYLE SWENSON, 19, has an excellent shot at a Top 3 in his AG. We also think that JENNA HORNER, 23, can podium in the 20-24W category. 

As for rocking high places in the Overall standings as well as their respective AGs, we think that DAVID KOPPEL, 34, JOSH BLANKENHEIM, 41, and CHRISTINA ROBERTS, 35, are legit Top 10ers, and podium finishers in their Age Groups.

We want to mention another athlete with Minnesota ties: BRANDEN SCHEEL, 26, formerly of Fargo, North Dakota, and now residing in Colorado. He's the real deal and we think he'll crack the men's overall Top 5, perhaps even win.

As for the Sprint race, we believe that SCHILLER and ISABELLA BUENTING, 19, will compete for Top 3 finishes in the respective age categories. Bella rocked in California two weekends ago, then had an unchararistic sub-par race at Chisago. She will be hunger for redemption.


And for those who will not be attending Nationals, and are seeking a great racing experience next weekend, we recommend registering for either GRANITEMAN BIG LAKE or the MOOSE LAKE TRIATHLON.