Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Two-time USAT Athlete of the Year Honorable Mention, Cathy Yndestad of Apple Valley, is going into Nationals next weekend as one of the women's favorites. Many, in fact, many think she will win.

Via email, the ever-philosophical Yndestad had this to say:

"I’m very excited to head to Nationals on Thursday. After a 1st place AG, 2nd place OA performance last year, it’s hard not to think about the big prize. Of course, I’m also realistic and fully aware that there are at least 5-10 other individuals with the talent and ability to win. That’s the beauty of a Nationals Championship. I’ve been extremely busy with work, so I haven’t had time to put much thought or analysis on the competition, but I do know that Linda Robb and Lindsay Whalen will be there and ready to race. We’re all in different waves, which should make for an interesting finish. I hear the course is much flatter than last year which does not play to my my strengths as much as hilly Hagg Lake (the site of Nationals in 2008), but I’ll do the best I can and see where that puts me at the finish. The other X factor for Tuscaloosa is the weather. With the water temp already pushing 85 and humidity and temps typical of Alabama in late August, this race will not just come down to the fastest, but rather the athlete who handles the adverse conditions effectively. With Kerry alongside and fellow racers I haven’t seen since last year, regardless of what happens on the course, it should be a fantastic weekend."

Cathy is not the only Minnesotan expected to excel at Nationals. Devon Palmer of St. Paul, and Sam Hauck of Shoreview, are also considered podium worthy.

Only twice in the 18-year history of the AG National Championships have the male and female winners come from the same state--Californians Pete Kain and Julie Swail in 2002, and Georgians Jim Lefebvreand Betty Mills in 1996.

Can Minnesotans win both the men's and women's titles on Saturday?

In a word, YES!

And as many as 5 Loon Staters could win their divisions!


Devon Palmer (20-24M)
Sam Hauck (25-29M)
Cathy Yndestad (30-34W - defending Divisional champ)
Rhett Bonner (45-49M)
Ben Ewers (60-64M)

And let's toss in Dennis Dane (30-34M), in case defending divisional champ Mark Harms (WI) has a sub-par day.

(Photos by YndeCam.com. Top - Cathy Yndestad. Bottom - Devon Palmer)

MTN's AG National Champions Predictions:

00-19M - Joseph Welsh (TN)
00-19W - Jennifer Walz (GA)
20-24M - Brian Duffy, Jr. (PA) or DEVON PALMER (MN)
20-24W - Erin Anderson (IA)
25-29M - Daniel Moss (SC) or SAM HAUCK (MN) (Deepest division in the race! Includes IA's Nathan White, PA's Rick Fesler etc.)
25-29W - Lindsay Whalen (IL)
30-34M- Mark Harms (WI) (MN's DENNIS DANE could reach the podium)
35-39M - Jason Schott (GA) - Defending National Champion
35-39W - Michelle Shoup (GA)
40-44M - Bruce Gennari (TN) (Yes, he will beat NJ's Doug Clark. Bruce went to college in Tuscaloosa.)
40-44W - Peggy Yetman (TX)
45-49W - Linda Robb (FL)
50-54M - Steve Pyle (CO)
50-54W - Laura Sophiea (GA)
55-59M - Kevin Moats (GA)
55-59W - Karen McKeachie (MI)
60-64M - Steve Smith (IN) (MN's Ben Ewers will take the silver.)
60-64W - Lauren Binder (OR)
65-69M - Robert Plant (CA)
65-69W - Ann Erickson (TX)
70-74M - Don Ardell (FL)
70-74W - Lis Heckmann (TX)
75-79M - Dick Robinson (CA)
75-79W - Molly Hayes (MT)
80+M - Dean Davis (FL)