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Falls DU Off to a Great Start

Race Director Mark Bongers couldn't have been happier. The turnout (150+) at the inauguralFalls Duathlon exceeded his expectations and post-race feedback was, as he put it, "phenomenal!" Ahtletes were especially effusive about the scenic Cannon Falls venue. This was music to Bonger's ears. "I'm very excited about the future of this event," he beamed.

The race consisted of a two mile run followed by a 14 mile bike segment and finishes with a 3 mile run. Red Wing's prolific Jesse Nelson, who was coming off a top 3 effort at the Winter Be Gone Duathlon the prior weekend, posted a 25 second win over second-placing Ian Lanza of Rochester. World Class Sports Podiatrist Troy Vargas, who resides in Hudson, WI, took 3rd.

The women's competition was won by 20-year-old Gracia Folkeringa of Minneapolis.Michelle Schlesser and Lauren Milne, also of Minneapolis, grabbed the other two podium spots.

(Photo by Erik Hull: Smooth-striding Falls Du champ Jesse Nelson)

Results:

Minnesota's 2008 All Americans

Minnesota Tri News congratulates the Minnesotans triathletes and duathletes who earned USA Triathlon All American honors in 2008. Todd Firebaugh, Marlo McGaver, Julie Hull, Jeanne Fleck, Becky Youngberg made both lists.

Tri Men: Devon Palmer, Patrick Parish, Michael Williams, Dennis Dane, Marc Ellingson, Eric Hendrickson, Eric Ellingson, Anton Pschon, Andy Newman, Curt Wood, Dan Arlandson, Brett Lovaas, Matt Payne, Steve Sander, Kevin O'Connor, Scott Penticoff, Mark Carey, Carl Unger, Todd King, Brian Bich (#2-40-44), Rhett Bonner, Doug Davis, Rich Heilman, Nathaniel Tollefson, Mo Mouw, Todd Firebaugh, Pete Guidinger, Dave Dow. Honorable Mention: Scott Ross, Terry Alexander, Jason Bates, Anthony Hirschman, Josh Blankenheim, Gary Bork, Duane Millslagle, William Schmitt, Mark Lawrence, Ted Patton, David Goldberg, Dan Friendrich, Rick Campins, Jey Carlson, Richard Hoover, Joe Langel, Paul Krumrich, Jim Guenter, Mario Minelli, Ananda Bates.

Du Men: Todd Firebaugh, Brendon O'Flanagan. Honorable Mention: Joe McGaver, Lucas Pedersen.

Tri Women: Kate McCann, Kortney Haag, Robyn Wangberg, Cathy Yndestad (#2- 30-34), Becky Youngberg, Jenny Wilcox, Julie Hull, Marlo McGaver, Susan Williams, Jeanne Fleck, Sarah Mercer, Sue Rubens, Jan Guenther, Amy Samples, Barb Beutler, Jeanne Minder. Honorable Mention: Brook Mutzenberger, Jennifer Imsande, Erika Binger, Merilee Sander, Amy Klosterman, Suzann Mouw.

Du Women: Cynthia Brockman (#3-40-44), Jeanne Fleck (#4-40-44), Marlo Crosby-McGaver (#1-35-39), Julie Hull (#2 - 35-39), Jenny Wilcox, Becky Youngberg, Sarah Kolpin (#2 -25-29), Ann Moyer (#3- 25-29). Honorable Mention: Ann Rhea, Robin Tedlund, Susan Burton.

DKT Crowned US Elite DU Champ

Not only did St. Paul's David Thompson, aka DKT, win the prestigious Powerman Alabama (April 19) for the third consecutive year, he was crowned US Elite Duathlon National Champion in the process. Thompson nearly added injury--his own--to the insult he heaped upon his fellow competitors--his margin of victory over runner-up Dereck Treadwell of Laurens, NY was an extravagant 6:53--when a family decided to cross the roadway just as he was speeding by on his Litespeed. David and a young girl ate macadam. Luckily, neither was seriously injured. Undaunted, David remounted, rode to T2 well ahead of the field, then went on to post the fastest 2nd run split of the day.

David's performance in Birmingham signaled his recovery from an inguinal hernia. His first two post-surgical (he went under the knife on January 30) races--Desert Classic Duathlon and Ironman California 70.3--were understandably sub-DKTesque. His PA victory and the confidence it inspired should serve him well at St. Anthony's this weekend.

Powerman Alabama Results:

Cathies Rock

Cathies Lee and Yndestad have kicked off their 2009 tri seasons in grand style. As in April '06 when she cracked the women's top 10 at Ironman Arizona (10:27:53 - 2nd female amateur / 1st 30-34), and May '07, when she placed 6th among amateur women at the ultra-competitive Florida 70.3, Cathy Lee was impressive at the inaugural New Orleans 70.3, finishing 4th among amateur women. A Minneapolis resident, Lee became a triathlete in 2002 and has a half dozen regional wins on her resume.

Cathy Yndestad of Apple Valley collected her 32nd career multisport win on March 22 at the Barlett Lake Olympic Triathlon in the high desert northeast of Phoenix, AZ. Cathy called the experience the toughest international distance tri she had ever done. Since her first tri in June of 2002, a year she earned a Minnesota Rookie nomination, Cathy has enjoyed a mercurial career featuring six Minnesota Awards and two nominations for US Athlete of the Year.

Bartlett Lake Olympic Results:
New Orleans 70.3 Results:

2009 Tri Predictions: Serious Name-Dropping

Who will set the performance standards on the Minnesota multi scene in '09? Hey, let's do some serious name-dropping.

Last year's runner-up for USAT Athlete of the Year Cathy Yndestad, will be going for her 3rd consecutive Minnesota Triathlete of the Year award. A phrase of advice: Don't bet against her. At this point in her career only an injury can get in the way. There are many great girls out there who can push her, but none appear ready to close the gap, though don't be surprised if Kortney Haag, 2008 Minnesota Rookie of the Year, makes Cathy's racing life miserable in 2010.

As far as Cathy's fellow nominees for MN-TOY '09, let's list the usual suspects: Marlo McGaver, Julie Hull,Marnie Walth and toss Kortney's name into the mix as well.

The woman (the amazing Brooke Davison) who stood between Yndestad and the USAT AOY trophy last year is now a pro. Can we assume that Cathy is the favorite to win the big prize this year? If she were to limit her racing to 70.3s and shorter, the answer would probably be yes. She plans to qualify for Hawaii Ironman World Championship this year, though. And there are several American women who "do" 140.6 better than Cathy, most notably sub-10 hour girls, Rachel Ross, Wendy Mader, Kathleen Calkins and emerging superstar Heather Jackson. A 10:10 would therefore appear to be a blemish on her scorecard and probably drop her out of AOY contention. This can be called the "Heidi Grimm Syndrome." In 2006 Heidi was 9 for 9 heading into Kona. She appeared to be the next AOY until she turned in a 10:36, for which she was crowned Military World Champ. But at least 20 American girls went faster than she did. She had to settle for an Honorable Mention, and chances are, Cathy will fall victim to "HGS."

Brian Bich, 2008 USAT Master of the Year, has been our state's Triathlete of the Year for the last three years. Can the mild-mannered biology instructor, now 43, make it four in a row? Well, if anyone is due for an off-season, it's Brian. Heck, he hasn't had a bad race since 2002. Despite his relatively long teeth and his defiance of the law of averages, don't bet against Bich (which is pronounced "Bish"). Why? Two reasons. Firstly, mitigating circumstances should prevent two of his four closest challengers--Jeremy Sartain and Sam Hauck--from catching up. Jeremy may need at least half of the season to return to the form he displayed before his devastating motorcycle accident, and Sam will be juggling the stresses of medical school. The other challengers are Dan Cohen and Curt Wood and their head-to-head battles with Brian will tell the story. Another name to throw into the mix is affable 22-year-old Devon Palmer. This kid has the potential to be special. Will 2009 be the year he starts barking with the big dogs? Or 2010? The question isn't "if" he'll get there. It's "when" he will get there. The other factor is that Brian is Minnesota's "Dave Scott." Like Scott, Bich is an "odds defier." You don't bet against Dave, and you shouldn't bet against Brian.

Stay tuned for more name-dropping in these categories: Masters, Grand Masters, Juniors and Most Improved. If you have questions or comments, send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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