Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Not long ago a female member of Team Minnesota asserted that last year's men's team was significantly more talented than the women's. She noted that their were more than twice as many emerging stars on the men's list--Hauck, Balabuck, Payne, Parish, Dane--than the women's roster--Haag and Mutzenberger.

Well, that unnamed athlete is right. The men's elite talent pool in Minnesota is currently deeper than the women's. But there are several good reasons for this. Here are two:

1. Male participants outnumber female participants. In fact, males accounted for approximately 64% of the total entrants in Minnesota's multis last year.

2. Childbirth and Family Responsibilities. By our reckoning, there were four Team Minnesota-worthy women who didn't make last year's squad because they were either pregnant (Becky Youngberg, who placed 2nd on Team MN in 2008) or opting to spend more time with their kids. (Darcy Franklin--pictured--and Mary Beth Tuttle race sparingly because family events take precedence in their lives, and Michelle Andres decided to forgo racing for the next several seasons in order to concentrate on raising her five children.)

By comparison, there were only two perennial Team Minnesota-worthy men who, for good reason, didn't make the 2009 roster: Jeremy Sartain (fighting back from a near-catastrophic injury) and Curt Wood, who cut his season short last year. His wife is pregnant with their first child.

The point we wish to make here is that Minnesota's elite multisportswomen more than hold their own in the gender comparison arena in our state.