Race Coverage

Races Within Races & Emerging Stars...


GRANITEMAN CLEARWATER - We love the races within the races, and we love to watch emerging stars, which is not to suggest that watching favorites live up to their billing isn't very cool, too....


We didn't know that MARY DEEG, 59, and 2020 Grand Master of the Year LISA HINES, 58, were both doing the Olympic-plus (43K bike), so when Mary sped out of the forest and toward the finish with Lisa in pursuit, we were actually witnessing a knock-down-drag-out battle, a true race with a race. Mary is very tall and runs with long, loping strides, pumping arms and, apropos of nothing, a cool new shorter hairstyle (photo). Lisa has tighter form, featuring smooth fast steps and relaxed upper body.

 Both women were digging deep. In the end, it was Deeg who dug deepest, the competitors placing 10th and 11th overall with only three seconds separating them at the mat. Fun to watch.

VANESSA NAGEL, 2020 Most Improved honoree ANNA RAINER, current female Rookie of the Year frontrunner CAMI ECKHOFF and 2019 Rookie of the Year  runner-up CARYN HERRICK are emerging stars who are destined to win races. Herrick's resume, in fact, already boats a very impressive victory at Hopkins Royal in 2019. And while none of these women won on Saturday, they claimed the next four places in the Olympic race behind clear favorite / national class talent KORTNEY HAAG, who in three starts here owns two wins and a 2nd.

Nagel's runner-up effort put her only 1:38 behind Haag, a true step upward in her tri career.

Arguably the most impressive Olympic performance of the day belonged to PETER WIKMAN. His Top 5 at Buffalo suggested that podiums were in his future. Wins would happen eventually, though not necessarily today.

Like Nagel, he relied on his running to elevate his game on Saturday, and while Nagel's run landed her in 2nd, Wikman's run took him all the way the Top Step, his first career multisport win.Our assessment was wrong, and we couldn't be happier about that.

 DAVID HOLDEN came in to the race with a favorite's target on his back, and stayed out in front through the swim (of course!) and bike, before being overtaken by Wikman, and another darkhorse named NICHOLAS LADAS, whose past results suggest that his G-Man effort was a breakout performance. Very cool.

Kort was not the only athlete who lived up  to her favored status. KEVIN O'CONNOR thoroughly dominated the men's Sprint competition.Strong splits in each discipline resulted in the 3rd fastest time by an amateur triathlete in the dozen years that this course has been in services. Not bad for a six-time Minnesota Master of the Year who had just turned 50, huh?

KO's margin of victory over 2nd place was 5:37.

Three-hundred and twenty-seven athletes registered for the Clearwater event, a 100-athlete increase from 2020. Weather was nearly ideal and six athletes managed to rewrite divisional records, starting with MACY IYER, 17, who placed 2nd overall in the Sprint behind a fired-up BETTE ROWLEY and lowered her own junior mark from 1:16:18 to 1:15:39. 2020 Junior of the Year, Iyer finished 44-seconds behind Rowley, and 6:49 in front of bronzed medalist SARAH BERSETH.


A thunderous AG performance was turned in for the second straight week by MEGAN WEBSTER, who destroyed her division's course records at both Lake Minnetonka and Graniteman Clearwater. Athletes of the Month will be determined soon and Megan appears to be in the mix for GMOM (Grand Master of the Month), though that category also includes JAN GUENTHER, JULIA WEISBECKER and PAM STEVENS, all of whom have excelled in the early season. .

Olympic CRs were set by:

45-49M - DAVID CARNEY - 2:15:16 (Prior - 2:15:54)

50-54M - DAVID HOLDEN - 2:14:54 (Prior - 2:26:59)

60-64M - KEITH TUFTE - 2:35:22 (Prior - 2:58:01)

Sprint CRs were set by:

16-19W - MACY IYER - 1:15:39 (Prior -1:16:18)

65-69W - MEGAN WEBSTER - 1:29:08 (Prior - 1:43:03)

75--79 - DANIEL KIRK - 1:29:02 (Prio - N/A)