Race Previews

Graniteman XIV Preview...


GRANITEMAN CLEARWATER - Online registration for the "original" Graniteman event, which started at it's Rockville venue in 2004, then relocated to it's current Clearwater location in 2009, has closed. (Race day registration is available!) The event started as a sprint, but added a wonderfully bike-heavy Olympic race in 2015.

We haven't seen the final list yet, so the preview we're posting here is based on sign-ups through last week. When we see the new list we will update this post. 

Also, because the list we have does not delineate which event--Sprint or Olympic--that individual athletes are doing, our comments will be rather general, and certain to contain some  "guessing."

Here are some athletes we expect to excel in the 19th Graniteman Triathlon, Clearwater version:

MORGAN BELL, 19 - Morgan won her AG at Buffalo Sprint, finishing 8th  overall. She was her division's silver medalist here last year, but we think she'll take the top prize on Saturday.

JEFF GILMER, 63 - He's our pick to win his division in, we suppose, the Olympic race. As for the Sprint, we suspect that CRAIG PETERSON, 60, if he decides to register, will take his  AG  in the shorter race....

KRISTEN HAWKINS, 33 - This athlete certainly "came into her own" in 2021 when she threw down four podium performances. We believe she will rock a Top 3 in whichever distance she chooses this weekend.

LISA HINES, 59 - Lisa set ag AG record here in 2020, the year she was named Minnesota Grand Master of the Year. She should win her division on Saturday.


KYLE LITHGOW, 23 - This yound man impressed us at Buffalo Sprint, and apears to be poised for a breakout season. If he does the Sprint, he will be  one of the favorites to win.

ANDREW MANNING, 34 - AJ was the amateur champ at Buffalo Olympic, where he outraced a "Who's Who" of regional talent. Since 2020, the Fargo resident has won four races on the Minnesota side of the Red River and we're confident he'll collect another W on Saturday, most likely in the Olympic race.

VANESSA NAGEL, 37 - Last year's Olympic runner-up, Vanessa cracked the amateur podium--the race was won by pro DANI TREISE--at Buffalo Olympic, and she is our pick to collect her first tri career win this weekend.

BETTE ROWLEY, 37 - We love to watch Bette race. She leaves it all  on the course. She won the Sprint last year but should face stiffer competiton this time around. Nevertheless, we'd be surprised if she didn't podium, especially after her impressive 2nd place overall women's finish at Pigman a few weeks ago.

PETER WIKMAN, 28 - With his Olympic victory here last year, Peter demonstrated that he deserved to be taken seriously as a contender. He should give AJ, and a few others a great race on Saturday.

ANDY ZABEL. 42 - Andy is undefeated in  two starts this  season. If he does the Sprint, his winning streak should continue. If he does the Olympic, he should join AJ and Peter on the podium.

We suspect that our prognostications will need to be altered, as several of our region's best triathletes have hinted that they might show up on race day.