Tuesday, June 16, 2009


(Brett Lovaas could do no wrong at Liberty. Photo courtesy of YndeCam.com)

The “special” performances turned in on the weekend of June 13-14 were numerous. Here are a few, starting with the Liberty races: 

  • Brett Lovaas’ effort at Liberty Olympic, wherein he took the old CR down by a whopping 3:16, was one of those performances that come along just a few times in an elite athlete’s career. His previous “special” effort was at Turtleman in August of 2006. If the Performance of the Year nominations were announced today, Brett’s effort would surely make the list along with Devon Palmer’s stunning  win at Manitou—expect this one to stick at season’s end—and Kevin O’Connor’s CR at Pigman Sprint.
  • Other great efforts at Liberty Olympic were turned in by runner-up John Shelp, whose results have suffered since his back-to-back podium finishes at Gear West and The Apple 13 months ago, and 3rd-placing Rhett Bonner, who should receive a Master of the Year nomination if he continues to race at his current level.
  • Devon Palmer accomplished at Manitou what he was unable to do at Pigman Sprint the prior weekend, i.e. finish what he started. At Little Pig he led after the first two phases but could not hang on during the run. Not so at Manitou. In fact, he blasted the course record and won by a margin of 1:06 over the man—Kevin O’Connor—who reeled him in in Iowa.
  • Mo Mouw, 45, was awesome at Buffalo on June 7, but was even, well, “awesomer” at Manitou, placing 8th in a Who’s Who field. Mo is cruising for a MOY nomination next autumn.
  • Sure the “league-of-her-own” Cathy Yndestad was impressive at Manitou, recording her fourth win there in a course best time. But arguably the most amazing effort by a woman in this race was posted by 44-year-old Jeanne Fleck, who placed 2nd. She is certainly the frontrunner for female MOY.
  • MTN would like to invite Lynette Bacon of Mankato, and Megan Ping of Winona, to register for a Midwest Multisport Series race or  two this season. Why? They are talented girls who have yet to measure themselves against our state’s standard-setters--Yndestads, Walths, Hulls, McGavers, Haags, Flecks, McCanns et al. Bacon was victorious last Sunday at Fairmont Olympic and Ping, who has recorded great results in western Wisconsin events over the years, almost beat Sarah Kolpin at the inaugural Trinona Olympic race on June 14. (Megan did race in the Gear West Duathlon in 2006  and finished a respectable 11th.)
  • Bob Bailey, 65, continues to impress on the regional du scene. He's undefeated in four starts, his most recent victory at Du the Dam on June 14, where he placed 9th overall! Look for his name on the list of nominees for Grand Master of the Year next fall. And don't be surprised if he podiums at Du Worlds in September.
  • Also very special is the fact that Curt Wood, who was 3rd at Manitou last Sunday, and his wife Christine are expecting their first child.