Wednesday, July 8, 2009


(The MJETs. Back Row (L-R): Devon Palmer, Nick Madrinich, Michael Williams, Ben Trnka, Coach Kris. Front Row (L-R): Sarah Daniels, Lauren Rantala, Grete Wilt, Abby Tracy.)

(Minneapolis, MN - July 8) This weekend brings the largest triathlon event in Minnesota to the Twin Cities and the MJET’s (Minnesota Junior Elite Team) are up to the challenge. This season has seen the boys placing high in the results in each leg of their races and in overall standings. With LTF being most of our athletes' "A" race, or at least one of them, we feel strong as a team going into Saturday.

All of the MJET’s will be racing in the Elite Amateur category. Look for Nick Madrinich and Michael Williams to come out of the water together first as they have all season long. Devon Palmer and Ben Trnka will not be far behind. Out of T1 expect to see Devon turn on the gas an move up through the crowd on the bike. Devon has been consistently producing solid bike splits this season and I would not be surprised to see him come back into T2 in the lead ala David Thompson. The run will be the true test of fitness. There are many talented athletes who have produced fast run splits against our boys this season that will be racing on Saturday. This will be where the nail biting begins for most parents and their coach.

On the girl’s side, we are stacked with talent but have been plagued by early season injuries and illness. With the likes of Cathy Yndestad and Lindsay Whalen toeing the start line, we have to be realistic about our expectations. Our girls are all strong swimmers and because of that I would not be surprised to see them come out of the in the lead pack. As the group gets out on the bike, it’s anyone’s guess as to what can happen. Sarah Daniels has proven to not only to be a solid biker, but a quasi mechanic after her fix-it experience at Hy Vee. We have recently made some bike set-up changes to Lauren Rantala's and Sarah Daniel's bikes which we believe will help them ride faster and more comfortably. On the run, I will be looking for a recovering Abby Tracy to bring some heat to the 10k course. MJET newbie Grete Wilt is becoming more comfortable with her abilities and I never rule the possibility that she'll turn in a great performance.

All in all I would look for the MJET’s to live up to their name this weekend. They are, after all, Minnesota’s best junior triathletes.

Kris Swarthout

USAT Level II Coach

USAT Midwest Regional Chair

USATF Level I Coach

Co-Owner SCS Multisport LLC