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Crowning Clayton...

Mitchell_cinco.pngA few weeks back we used the term "In Between" to designate the MMA categories that were neither slam dunks, nor all that controversial. They fell somewhere "in between" those designations. The three categories that we considered 'tweeners were Junior of the Year and both the male and female Most Improved.

Let's start with Junior of th Year, which was won by Mitchell Clayton, 19, of Forest Lake.

On the surface, Mitchell's selection seemed pretty slam dunky. He'd raced twelve times, which was more than the other three nominees combined. (We're only including non-draft-legal races here.) He won five of those events, which is an unprecedented number of victories in a single season by a Minnesota junior.

What bothered the Selectors somewhat about Clayton were his race choices. He excelled in what can be called the "companion" races, i.e. the sprint events that are historically less competitive than the longer events they accompany. By doing this, Mitchell never faced, thus could not be measured against, our state's best athletes (Team MInnesota guys etc.).

Still, when measured against his own performances of prior seasons, Clayton, a three-time JOY nominee, had definitely gotten faster....

A Great Interview With RBM...

rbm_az.pngBy Timothy Carlson (slowtwitch.com)

 

In 2010, Ruth Brennan Morrey was 35 and coming off a 10 year hiatus from sports - an elite soccer and marathon career interrupted by many things including the birth of three children and acquiring a PhD - when she decided to try triathlon and became a pro. First step: learn to swim.

One year later, the Rochester, Minnesota mother of three was the women’s overall age group champion of the ITU Long Distance Worlds in Henderson, Nevada. In 2013, she scored the fastest run splits at three 70.3s – all under 1:20 – while finishing 5th, 6th and 12th overall woman. In her most impressive performance, she was racing second overall woman, five minutes behind leader Eva Nystrom during the 150 kilometer bike segment at the 2013 ITU Long Distance World Championship in ...

 

Why Bri?

kevin_tongue.png

By An Anonymous Guy

Sometimes you get what you want. Sometimes you don't. That is tha nature of democracy.

The process determining the MMAs is a democratic one, which, as one of the Selectors, who shall remain nameless, I appreciate and respect. Naturally, I don't always get what I want....

Borderline Unbelievable...

sean_waconia.pngOn the surface, the women's Performance of the Year award may seem controversial, but as far as the Selectors were concerned, it really wasn't.

Here's why:

- Kortney Haag's course record - 2:10:08--at Buffalo Olympic was the fastest Olympic-ish time by a Minnesota woman last season. Her margin was 50 seconds and she beat a very strong field. Why wasn't this the POY? Because it didn't blow our collective minds. Kortney's career PR at this distance is 2:08.

- Diane Hankee beat the deepest women's field of the year at the Apple Duathlon. It was an awesome result, but it did not blow our minds. Had her time been a minute-or-two faster, her effort would have contended for the award.

- Erin Hyndman-Farrens' 10:02:29 3rd place finish at Ironman Louisville. This effort blew our minds. A PR by 12 minutes and the 2nd fastest time by a Minnesota woman ever, this wonderful effort would have won the award most years.

But not in 2016....

Diane or Erin?

diane_and_kids.pngDiane Hankee deserved to win the Long Distance Athlete of the Year award. But so did Erin Hyndman-Farrens. Convincing arguments can and were made for both athletes.

Why then, did Diane win?

Because she had the most support on the day the awards were ordered. Had the awards been ordered a day or two later, and the debate continued, there is a good chance that Erin would have won.

But if the awards were ordered a day or two after that, and the debate had continued, then it's very possible that Diane would, once again, come out on top.

And so on....

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