Wednesday, October 7, 2009


(Photos From Top: Brian, Jonathan, Sam, Devon & Kevin.)

The Minnesota Multisport Awards Selection Committee announces its nominees for 2009 Minnesota Male Triathlete of the Year.

*JONATHAN BALABUCK, 29, Thunder Bay, ONT - Balabuck does the lion's share of his racing in Minnesota and it's about time the MMA Selection Committee considered him eligible for award consideration. In '09, he raced in six Loon State events, winning three of them--Liberty Half, Brewhouse and Burrito Union--and picking up a 2nd (Buffalo Olympic) and two 3rds (Chisago Lakes Half and Lake Marion).

* BRIAN BICH, 43, Duluth - Can Brian win the TOY award for the 4th consecutive year? We'll see. He did win half of the races he entered, set two course records and finished a remarkable 7th overall at the Best of the US Championship.

* SAM HAUCK, 25, Shoreview - Three wins, including a course record-setting effort at RochesterFest Olympic, a close 2nd at Heart of the Lakes and a Top 10 finish at AG Nationals justify his nomination.

* KEVIN O'CONNOR, 38, Medina - Three course records--Pigman Sprint, Minneman and Minneapolis Duathlon--and brilliant podium performances at a half dozen other major events make O'Connor a true contender for this award.

* DEVON PALMER, 22, St. Paul --Huge Wins at Manitou, Life Time Fitness Elite, Heart of the Lakes and Turtleman, plus his 3rd place overall finish at AG Nationals highlight a resume that is perhaps one big performance shy of earning Devon a USAT Athlete of the Year nomination. (FYI - He'll face AOY contenders Brian Duffy, Jr., Mark Harms, Nathan White and Sean Jefferson this weekend at the Dallas US Open.)

Other athletes receiving "TOY" consideration were Dan Cohen (35, Eden Prairie), Matthew Payne (32, Columbia Heights) and Patrick Parish (24, Circle Pines).

The Minnesota Multisport Awards will be presented Academy Awards-style at Tri-Night '09 at St. Paul College on November 7. Will you be there? We hope so.