Why Diane?



2017 MINNESOTA MULTISPORT AWARDS – The next category needing explanation is female MASTER OF THE YEAR, which was won by DIANE HANKEE (40, Lino Lakes). Her challengers were Christel Kippenhan (52, Bemidji), Andrea Myers (41, Plymouth) and Julia Weisbecker (51, Mendota Heights).


Let's compare the resumes:

  • CHRISTEL KIPPENHAN – This was Christel's third MOY nomination. Her highlights included an overall women's win in Masters record time at Superior Man 41.5 and a overall 3rd at Brewhouse Sprint. Her loss to fellow nominee Julia at Liberty Olympic didn't help her chances here.

  • ANDREA MYERS – Another excellent year; another MOY nomination. Finishing 12th in the Team Minnesota voting made her the clear runner-up for the award this year. Her resume featured two outright wins (Liberty Olympic and Hopkins Royal), plus overall women's podiums at Timberman and Green Lake Olympic, and a Top 5 at Heart of the Lakes. She excelled in dus, as well as tris.

  • JULIA WEISBECKER – Like Myers, Julia also was an MOY nominee in 2016. Based on racing volume, the former Dartmouth tennis star appeared to be out of the running for a nomination. She announced after her Masters record effort at Superior Man Half that her tri season was over, but changed her mind and entered the Square Lake Triathlon two week later, where she finished 2nd overall. Check out her final resume: 2nd overall woman @ Liberty Olympic, 2nd overall woman @ Square Lake, 5th woman @ Superior Man - MR, 7th woman - 1st Master - @ Minneapolis. Very nomination-worthy stuff....

Why Matt?



2017 MINNESOTA MULTISPORT AWARDS - Today we talk about why MATTHEW PAYNE (40, Golden Valley) won the men's MASTER OF THE YEAR AWARD; what, in the minds of the Selectors, gave him the edge over fellow nominees: Brooks Grossinger (40, Mayer), David Holden (47, Hudson, WI), Tony Schiller (59, Eden Prairie) and Chris Tatton (41, Blaine)....

Why Jan?


 MINNESOTA MULTISPORT AWARDS - Today we reveal some of the rationale behind the selection of JAN GUENTHER as Minnesota GRAND MASTER OF THE YEAR.

Neil KIng (67, Nevis) and Pam Stevens (64, Sartell) have won this award in the past and are perennial nominees. Once again, they enjoyed brilliant seasons, as did category newcomers Daniel Kirk (71, Blaine) and Spike Millslagle (66, Savage). Kirk is our state's first 70+ star since the apparent retirement of Hank Larsen. A classy guy and a great athlete.

As for Spike, in regional action, he won his AG impressively on at least six occasions, setting three AG CRs in the process. Well deserved nomination.

Of these four great athletes, it is likely that the majority, if not all, of the Committee members would have favored Stevens for GMOY. Her scorecard featured seven divisional wins, at least four in AG record time. She cracked the overall women's Top 10 FOUR times. 

And then there was Jan.

Guenther only raced three times, four if you include the King Boreas Winter Duathlon (run-bike-run), which she won outright. But the 57-year-old did not race at a national class level, like her abovementioned peers; she raced at a world class level. In most cases, her performances were competitive across ALL age categories.

Let's break down her season.

- 1st woman @ King Boreas Winter Duathlon - Whether one thinks this performance should be included in this discussion or not, it is interesting to note that the field Jan beat included Jeanne Fleck (2007 Rookie of the Year, 2008 Most Improved & Master of the Year), Jenny Wilcox (2010 Duathlete of the Year & Most Improved - she won 10 multis in '10), Nancy Whillock (one of South Dakota's premier multisportswomen) and Emily Muellner, who was a 2017 Rookie of the Year nominee....

Why Taylor?



2017 MINNESOTA MULTISPORT AWARDS - This was a fun category!

We're talking about JUNIOR OF THE YEAR, which was won by TAYLOR LUNDQUIST, 18, of Maple Grove, who bulldozed her competition in the last half of the season.

There was SO much Junior talent this year that it was harder than usual to narrow the field to four official nominees. The Committee ultimately selected three of the more prolific and consistent juniors--ANDERS BROMAN, 17, Eagan, CARTER DEICHMAN, 16, Mankato, and LUNDQUIST--over the more mercurial athletes who raced less often or had inconsistent results.

We added GARRETT WELSCH, 19, Redwing, to the list of nominees because the guy is just plain fast. In the beginning of the season he appeared to be the slam dunk JOY choice. His performances at Liberty Olympic (4th overall), and his junior CRs at Lake Waconia and Minneapolis were outstanding. But he only raced one more time, that event being Nationals, where his performance wasn't up to his usual standards. A good race there would have kept him in the running for JOY, otherwise he'd have to have added 1-2 more regional events to his resume, and excel at those.

Meanwhile, Broman was demonstrating that he is faster than he was in 2016 and 2015, and even won a race outright (Moose Lake).

Then there was Deichman, who by early August appeared to be the guy who would win the award. By that time, he had divisional wins at Falls Du, Heart of the Lakes, Chisago Sprint, and would  go on to claim AG titles at North Mankato, Young Life Sprint, Maple Grove Sprint, Hopkins Royal and One Last Tri.

That should have done it, right? In most years a resume like Carter's would have secured the trophy.

But not this year. After losing to fellow juniors at Lake Waconia, Timberman and Heart of the Lakes, Lundquist put the hammer down in late July, racing in seven tris, winning the junior titles in each event. Not only that, she was the outright women's winner of three of those contests: Big Lake Sprint, Young Life Sprint and Blaine. In 11 starts in 2017, Taylor cracked the women's Top 10 ten...

Why Keeghan?



MINNESOTA MULTISPORT AWARDS - When determining nominees and eventual MMA winners, the Selectors scrutinize resumes, measuring performances against records and legacies, evaluating field depth and head-to-head battles. We try to determine if the potential nominees approach, match or exceed the standards set by their predecessors. For instance, today's Masters are measured against the likes of Tony Schiller, Brian Bich, Kevin O'Connor, Jan Guenther, Heidi Keller-Miler, Cheryl Zitur and Marnie Walth; today's Juniors are compared to Beth Zirbes, Greta Danielson, Kate Lowrey, Michael Williams, Jason Liebsch and Nick Klonne.

Nominees and winners are determined democatically. Selectors make their cases for the athletes they believe deserve to be nominated, hoping to influence the others. In the end, each Selector submits the names of those they believe deserve to be nominated, and the four athletes receiving the most support receive nominations. After the nominees are chosen, the process starts again. Selectors argue for the athletes they believe should win the awards.

In the end, no Selector gets everything that they argue for. A perfect example of this was the determination of female Triathlete of the Year. For the first time in the nineteen-year history of the awards, THREE athletes received Selector support. In years past, a clear favorite, one all the Selectors could agree upon, emerged in this category: Jan Guenther (1999-2001), Wendy Peterson (2002-2003), Becky Youngberg (2004), Emily Deppe (2005), Marlo Crosby (2006), Cathy Yndestad (2007 -2010), Claire Bootsma (2011), Ruth Brennan Morrey (2012), Heather Lendway (2013-2014), Suzie Fox (2016), Hanna Grinaker (2016).

But that was not the case this year, and the arguments that ensued were heated, and lasted for weeks. Strong cases were made for Gaby Bunten, Christina Roberts and Kortney Haag, with Gaby eventually coming out on top. ....

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