Race Previews

LMT XVIII Preview...

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18th LAKE MINNETONKA TRIATHLON PREVIEW - The LMT is one of a precious handful of Minnisota triathlons that have proven to be downturn and pandemic proof. Non-immune events are either leaving the calendar or resigning themselves to lower turnouts. LMT is still getting its target numbers, and filling well in advance of race day. This means that the organizers (Ross and Tina) have done, and continue to do, albeit with new directors, something right. In other words, the Rogney's legacy is going strong.

Lake Minnetonka has always been an exciting and  competitive race, and that will not change in the near term. We've looked at the list of registrants and are excited to make some predictions, choices that are not intended to be taken too seriously. Instead, their purpose is to generate interest, discussion and spectatorship.

The women's race promises to be fast, as three of the frontrunners have rocked the LMT route before. There is also a relative newcomer in the mix that could shake things up a bit. ...

Here are our Top 4 women's picks:

HEATHER LENDWAY - Duh! The  former pro--2015 US Pro Rookie of the Year--who was also an amateur world champ and two-time overall national women's champion, is the only woman to crack 1:10 on this course, which she has done twice. Her 1:04:53 set in 2014 may never be equalled. Yes, she is our pick to win. She cracked the overall Top 5 last year, and we believe she will do that again on Saturday.

We believe that MAGGIE SWANSON, last year's runner-up who is coming off an amateur win at Buffalo Olympic behind pro Dani Treise, and CHRISTINA ROBERTS will battle for the silver medal position. Roberts is a three-time LMT winner and her personal best on this course--1:10:53--is more than two-minutes faster than Maggie's PR. So, is muscle memory going to deliver Christina, who hasn't raced in a multi this year, to the line ahead of Swanson? Or will Maggie's recent success give her an edge? From 2016, Swanson's rookie season, Roberts has amassed 17 of her 25 career wins. Maggie, who has raced less frequently than Christina during this period has two wins. In our opinion, muscle memory has the advantage. It should be a very close race between these talented women, with Roberts ultimately prepreston.jpgvailing.

ELENA HENGEL - We're not ready to predict a podium finish for Elena, whose fast win at Buffalo Sprint turned a lot of heads, but we think she has what it takes to crack the Top 5 and be a factor in how the race unfolds. 

 

 The men's field is lacking a few of the usual supects, guys like BROOKS GROSSINGER, whose LMT resume boasts 4 wins, JOSH BLANKENHEIM, who has  podiumed here, and 2021 Rookie of the Year HENRY JESSEN, who popped a breakout 4th place finish here last year. As a result, we are only prepared to talk about the guys we believe will vie for the win. They are KYLE SWENSON, now 20, who won the LMT in 2021 and was later named US Junior of the Year, and a returnee to Minnesota's multisport scene--he placed 12th at LMT in 2012 before moving to Louisiana, where he matured into a regional star--PRESTON YOUNGDAHL (photo R).  Preston and Kyle faced each other at Buffalo Olympic with Preston finishing 3rd (2nd amateur) in 1:59:11, and Kyle taking 5th (4th amateur) in 2:00:42. Youngdahl and Swenson had comparable swim splits at Buffalo, then Preston outbiked the field. Kyle's run split, however, recovered a significant amount of lost time. The fact that LMT's bike course is 9 miles shorter than Buffalo's should tighten the race somewhat, but enough to allow Kyle to overtake Preston on the run? Our math favors Youngdahl, whose younger brother Kurt may be the guy to climb the final podium step.

We are anxious to watch LMT XVII unfold. 

 

MTN plans to comment on the Age Group race on its Facebook page later in the week.

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