Race Previews

Lakes Country Turns 19...


LAKES COUNTRY TRIATHLON - The 19th edition of this sprint triathlon will happen next Sunday, and if you haven't done it yet, we suggest that you give it a try. Simply put, it's a very cool event.

Approximately 150 athetes had enrolled when the race director allowed us to look at the registration list. That was last week. So, as with race management, our hope is that the LCT gets a nice late push, and that 200-or-more athletes line the beach at Whipple Lake next weekend. Last weekend's races had encouraging attendances, and we hope that Lakes Country will continue that positive trend.

Now, who do we think will win in Baxter next Sunday? Based on the list we saw, our picks are Sauk Rapids'  WADE CRUSER and local standout JACQUELYN BACIGALUPI (photo). We're picking Cruser even though he would have raced the day before at Maple Grove. And though the Maple Grove/Lakes Country weekend marks his fifth consecutive week of racing, a period he kicked off with a PR at Chisago Lakes Half, and followed with three (maybe four?) straight victories, we are betting that his speed and fitness will triumph over the fatigue that a more mortal athlete would experience  under similar circumstances.

Cruser is definitely cruising for a Triathlete of the Year nomination, thus guys like SEAN COOLEY and PATRICK PARISH better up their games if they want to prevent Wade from taking the prize....


Here are our men's podium picks: 1. WADE CRUSER, 2. ANDY ZABEL, 3. BRIAN STORHAUG.

As for Bacigalupi, she has aced infrequently in the last two seasons, but we still think she'll collect her fourth career win on Sunday. She's coming off a 4th place effort against a strong women's field at Green Lake Olympic, and owns impressive results in prior editions of this race.

- 2nd in 2015 38-seconds behind OLIVIA BAGNALL, who won three of the four tris se did that season.

- 2nd in 2014 behind tri star MICHELLE ANDRES, and ahead of such talents as SARA RONDORF, SARA CARLSON and LAUREN STEIKE.

We're not going to predict the women's podium, believing that late registrants, perhaps someone like Carlson, and/or  SIMONE LUNDQUIST, 15, who recorded her first career tri win in Detroit Lakes last weekend, will fill those spots. RACE WEBSITE