Race Previews

Age Group Records in Jeopardy at Big Lake...



GRANITEMAN BIG LAKE SPRINT X PREVIEW - We've been anxious to post race previews for months, and we're happy that we can do so now.

Today we are making some Age Group predictions for the 10th Big Lake Sprint, which is happening on August 1. We were afforded a peek at the registration list last week and were impressed with the numbers of enrollees (250ish) and the depth of the field. Yes, some of what we are posting today will be upeneded by later sign-ups, but the point of these previews is not to make intractable predictions, but to hopefully stimulate some interest and discussion. We are wrong a lot, and we are totally good with that.

Before we begin, we will say that we expect, despite the "rust" factor, that several AG records will be rewritten.

So, let's start with the 19-and-unders:

19U BOYS - 2019 Junior of the Year KYLE SWENSON, 18, is enrolled and is our clear favorite. Can he take down TYLER HECHT's stout 2012 junior CR (1:06:54)? He threw down four records in five Minnesota starts last year, so yes, we think he'll set a new record....

19U GIRLS - This is a tough call. We see a battle between former JOY nominees MACY IYER, 16, and SIMONE LUNDQUIST, 18. According to our records, these talented young women have yet to face each other, so this battle could be epic. Based on Macy's times at Trinona Sprint in 2019, which she won, and her 2018 YWCA junior CR effort, we think she has the speed advantage. As for the junior girls CR, we believe that GRETA DANIELSON's ultra-formidable 1:10:45, set in 2013, will stand.


40-44 MEN - This is an easy pick. ANDY ZABEL (photo R). Z had a breakout season in 2019. He was Most Improved runner-up and placed 4th on Team Minnesota. He could lower the 40-44 men's race best (1:07:32) by 2-3 minutes.

44-44 WOMEN - Another easy call. Perennial MOY nominee ANDREA MYERS is enrolled, and though she is coming off a nasty bout of COVID-19, she should land on the Top Step. A 40-44W CR may not be in the cards, though. Andrea would need to be in top form to take down JAMIE HEYING's 2013 mark (1:09:17), which currently stands as the event's 2nd fastest women's time ever.

45-49 MEN & WOMEN- Five-time Minnesota Master of the Year KEVIN O'CONNOR, 48, should not only shatter his division's course best, he should land on the overall men's podium. We wouldn't be surprised if BRETT LOVAAS, 48, a winner of more than thirty tris in his career, also dips under the old 45-49M mark (1:02:39). As for the women in this category, we think the leaders will be later registrants.

50-54 MEN: THAD INGERSOLL turned 50. The former outright winner at Chicago, our country's largest triathlon, should win his AG handily and reset the 50-54M standard. As with the previous category, we don't think the women who will lead the way in this division have enrolled at the time of this writing.

55-59 MEN & WOMEN - These battles will be interesting, and, we believe, tight. For the men, TIM BROWN and ROB KAUFMAN appear to be the guys to beat.Likewise, for the women, LISA HINES and MARY DEEG appear to be evenly matched. In their last encounter (Lakes Country 2019), Hines finished 5th overall for the women, and Deeg took 6th. Slight advantage to Lisa.

60-64 MEN & WOMEN - MARY DEEG's insanely youthful-looking husband JEFF GILMER is our current pick for the men, and GMOY consideree HELEN GUNTHER is our choice to win the women's category. Helen should get a nice push from RHIANNON O'CONNOR and land at the finish line in AG record time.

65-69 MEN & WOMEN - Based on the list we perused, 2019 GMOY nominee LUKE HARNED and BL age-group record holder CAROL GRAGERT, appear to be slam dunks. LEN KLUN's CR is a goodie (1:15:55), but Harned has what it takes to shave a minute-or-so off of it.

70-74 MEN - If GMOY nominee and AG-record holder THOMAS ROHMAN chooses not to race, we give the nod to TOMMY BOYE, aka TOM COUILLARD, whose wry sense of humor reminds us of the late comedian STEVE LANDESBERG.

We'll discuss our overall pics in a upcoming posts.




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