Race Coverage

The Usual Suspects and Kyle...


TIMBERMAN SPRINT COVERAGE - What you see is not always what you get, especially when time trial starts are in place. This is not to suggest that TT starts are a bad thing. On the contrary. They spread out the field while simulaneously getting all of the athletes into the water faster than when wave starts are employed....

In our Timberman Olympic coverage we highlighted the fact that JOSH BLANKENHEIM finished ahead of BROOKS GROSSINGER, but Brooks had the winning time. This also occured in the battle for 2nd in the women's contest. ANDREA MYERS crossed ahead of TIFFANY KARI, but Tiffany claimed the silver.

That same scenario happened in the women's Sprint race. Course record holder BETTINA KEPPERS crossed the finish line several seconds in front of TARA MAKINEN. Though Bettina won the battle, it was Tara who won the war. Her final time was actually 46-seconds faster than Kepper's.  JMS Racing's scoring program produced results in real time, thus spectators and athletes did not have to wait to find out how they ultimately fared. Good stuff. 

Makinen was justifiably ecstatic with her win, something she had done here on  four prior occasions, although her last victory was recorded back in 2014. For Keppers, her 2021 tri resume features a win at Bertram Blast to go with her 2nd at Timberman Sprint.


Completing the women's women's Top 3 was JENA OGSTON, who has podiumed here eight times, including a win in 2015 where she nipped Makinen by a scant two seconds. What an exciting race that was!

Men's Sprint champion KYLE SWENSON, 19, came into the race with a very specific plan. As told to us by hs father GREG, Kyle planned to go full out at Timberman. He wanted to test his speed, endurance and especially pain threshold in preparation for his showdown at next weekend's Heart of the Lake's Triathlon with DAVID KOPPEL, who is the other (with Kyle) fastest rising star on our regional scene.

Kyle threw down hard, posting the fastest splits in each discipline, especially the run, where his 16:51 for the 3-mile leg was 1:02 faster than the next quickest runner. The result was a brilliant 54:54, the second fastest time in race history, and a 5:55 improvement on the previous junior record.

It certainly appears that he is ready to give Koppel, and the other fast guys who will toe the starting line at HOLT next Sunday, a great race.

Rounding out the men's Sprint Top 3 were local Ironman NATHAN WAECH and 2016 MInnesota Junior fo the Year MITCHELL CLAYTON.

While divisional records remained intact in the Olympic race, five AG marks, starting with Swenson's, were rewitten in the Sprint:

00-19M- KYLE SWENSON - 54:14 (Prior Mark - 1:00:09 - 2018)

55-59W - CHRISTEL KIPPENHAN - 1:09:35 (Prior Mark - 1:12:03 - 2019)

60-64M - NICHOLAS CRONIN - 1:09:11 (Prior Mark - 1:10:14 - 2019)

60-64W - JACKIE DEVINE - 1:15:56 (Prior Mark - 1:26:26 - 2018)

70-74M - NEIL KING - 1:09:52 (Prior Mark - 1:17:19 - 2018)

Twenty-five athletes completed the Super Sprint race, which began in  2016. KAI STROM, 15 (38:04) and HEATHER GROTHE, 38 (39:37) leg the way for their respective genders.