Men's Team Minnesota: Why...

andy_bike.pngToday we discuss the determination of Team Minnesota, starting with the men. The five Selectors scrutinized the resumes of 25-30 viable candidates and ranked their top 12-15. The points (1st place - 1 point, 2nd place - 2 points etc.) are then totalled, and the Top 10 is determined. It is rare for a Selector's personal list to be the same as the final rankings.


The rankings are based on resume only, not reputation. An athlete's competitive history does not give him or her an advantage, at least that's the goal.


Here are the Top 10 guys, and some explanation for their placement. Please know that, invariably, certain positions are basically interchangeable. We'll explain as we go along....

Why Wade?

waderster.pngAll five MMA Selectors favored Wade Cruser for Most Improved, though not before they answered a couple of crucial questions:

1. Was his rise from being in the 15th-16th range in the determination of 2015 Team Minnesota all the way up to 3rd in 2016 significantly aided by the absence of four team 2015 members (Bennett Isabella, Nick Nygaard, Brian Sames, Devon Palmer). The Committee as a whole believed that it was not. Cruser's resume--five wins and four other regional podiums--would have been hard to beat by the aforementioned guys. The fact that he raced often and excelled in both triathlon and duathlon--nominated for TOY and DOY--and received a total of four MMA nominations (matching Matthew Payne and Sean Cooley) bolstered this assessment.

2. We also compared Cruser's resume to Kris Spoth's 2015 scorecard, which landed him in the 3rd spot on Team MInnesota. This didn't tell us much. Wade raced ten times, landing on eight podiums, including five wins. Spoth's 2015 card had nine starts with four podiums, including two wins. The reason we were reluctant to favor Cruser came down to "race choice." Spoth only raced in events that featured...

Training By Perceived Effort...

mike_b_and_dog.pngBy Mike Buenting (mike buenting.wordpress.com)

In today’s world of technology and gadgets so many people get focused on buying more gear and then focus training, racing and so on around the technical data things like power meters, heart rate monitors, GPS watches and so on produce. Now as a competitive athlete and coach yes of course I love these things and I love data and using the data to coach an athlete and help them improve. But not everyone can afford all of these things and not every athlete likes to wear monitors and gadgets of these sorts and that’s OK.

So as a coach I like to take things back to basics often times and teach athletes to train by perceived effort level. Cycling this can be really crucial because so many own a kinetic trainer which does not go by watts, and they don’t have power meter crank sets etc… so I can’t hardly prescribe them a workout based on FTP and watts. This is where I use a scale for perceived effort for them....

Race of the Year Voting Breakdown...

amy_alan.pngPhoto - Timberman co-directors, Amy and Alan Dettmer


Recently, we received this email from Timberman co-director, Amy Dettmer:

Hi MTN Guys,

Great to see you at Gear West a couple of weeks ago! I may have missed it on MTN, so wondering if you have posted, or will post, the final tallies for the Race of the Year voting? Wondering how Timberman fared? Were we 2, 3, 4, or 5? Happy that Superior Man won Race of the Year. I like to see northern MN races do well!


We replied:  ....

Erin's Best Season Ever...


Yesterday we discussed the selection of Junior of the Year, which we referred to as an "In-between" category, that is, one that is neither a slam dunk, nor controversial.

Today we'll talk about the women's Most Improved selection, which was also perceived to be a 'Tweener category.

The Selectors agreed that Erin Hyndman-Farrens (photo) and Diane Hankee were the two most viable MI candidates. Angela Kidd  had raced well, but her volume was low and her ultimate Team MInnesota placement was in the 15th-16th area. Dani Vsetecka would have made Team Minnesota in 2015 had not her scorecard featured performances from 2014, thus her making the Team in 2016 was expected.


Hyndman-Farrens won the award because she made Team Minnesota (#7) for the first time, though she had come very close on two prior occasions. Low racing volume is what had kept her off in the past. Boosting her selection was the fact that she set personal bests in Olympic distance, half IM and full IM. Her 10:02:29 at Ironman Louisville was nominated for Performance of the Year....

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