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Stellar Field Set for Big Pig XVIII...Updated...

kort-win-pig.gif18th Annual PIGMAN HALF - The MTN Guys nearly soiled ourselves when we looked at next weekend's Big Pig start list. It will arguably be the most competitive Pigman ever. Here's a few of the names on the Elite roster:

Men:

David Thompson (P - MN) - 9 x Pigman Champ. A win would be the 100th of his storied career. (photo on page 2.)

Daniel Bretscher (P - IA) - 2007 US Athlete of the Year

Tom Gerlach (P -WI) - Successful long course veteran

Eric Engel (WI) - Reigning Toughman Minnesota champion

Kevin O'Connor (MN) - Reigning Pigman Masters CR-holder. PR - 4:02 (MN State amateur Half IM record)...

 

Another Busy Weekend Ahead...

YWCA-start.gif

This weekend's racing schedule is as insane as last week's. There are seven events for the Minnesota triathlete to choose from, if you'll excuse our ending a phrase with a preposition....

Performance Highlights...

suzie-and-diane.gifGreat Photo - Diane Hankee and Suzie Fox at Sprint Nationals.

Here are the Minnesotans who earned medals and cracked the overall Top 100 at Nationals, the most competitive amateur triathlons in the world:

OLYMPIC NATIONALS -

- Tony Schiller - 1st 55-59 (1st/ 126 finishers) (Tony's 12th National Champion title - His margin of victory was 5:34!)

- Lisa Lendway - 2nd 30-34 (2nd / 150 finishers) - Lisa placed 19th overall

- Matthew Payne - 2nd 35-39 (2nd / 167 finishers) - Matt placed 12th overall.

- Kevin O'Connor - 2nd 40-44 (2nd / 180 finishers)

- Neil King - 2nd 65-69 (2nd / 47 finishers)

- Gaby Bunten - 2nd 20-24 (2nd / 61 finishers)

- Cheryl Zitur - 3rd 50-54 (3rd / 120 finishers) ...

Beautiful Moments...

lisa-and-kid.gifBeautiful Photo - Lisa Lendway with her daughter Hadley. Or is it Adeline?

By Norm Deplume

AGE GROUP NATIONALS - I got excited when I first saw last Saturday's Wave Start List. The 30-34 men would launch in the first wave and the 30-34 women would go next. Because the wave intervals were wide and the fact that the 60+ men were slated for wave #3, I knew that some of our most decorated Minnesota triathletes would enjoy the luxury of being among the first to cross the finish line. We were anxious to see how BENNETT ISABELLA, 32, would fare, as well as LISA LENDWAY, 34, and JESS ROSSING, 30, and several others.

As predicted, former US Athlete of the Year Adam Webber led the 30-34 men out of the lagoon and carried his lead all the way to the finish line, for which he received a champion's welcome. Though he would ultimately place 5th overall, he was, as they say in the golf world, the leader in the clubhouse for almost 80 minutes.

The cheering din had not subsided when the BENNETT ISABELLA sped triumphantly to the finish line. He was the 5th man across. His time was 1:59:43. I couldn't have been happier.

Or could I? ...

New Kid on the Block...

Kato-swim.gif17th NORTH MANKATO TRIATHLON - Former collegiate Div. I runner TOBY HENKELS could well become Minnesota's next big multisport star. In what we believe was his first tri, he managed to nip decorated elite triathlete DAVID HOLDEN at Fairmont Olympic. Holden had won that race multiple times. Henkels time there was 1:57:47. Insanely fast for a rookie.

At North Mankato yesterday, Toby won again, this time by a sizeable margin (5:42). His bike and run splits were the best in the field. And he had the 3rd fastest swim, to boot. His time over the .25-12-3 route was 54:32. Only Matt Payne (52:35 in 2015) has gone faster here.

Henkels needs only one more impressive tri effort this year to earn a Rookie of the Year nomination. Hear that, Toby?

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