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Posted: June 29, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Triathlon: Best of the U.S. Week 12 - Indiana's Wickard, Minnesota's Bich, Pennsylvania's Shutt all repeat; hot new (and old) talent challenges

ST. PAUL, MN / June 28, 2009 - Four Best of the U.S. Qualifiers pushed the series past its halfway mark this weekend. Three top athletes will be making returns to the 2009 Championship; the medal positions feature very strong contenders, some new on the scene and some wily veterans.

Race #24:Warsaw Optimists Triathlon, Indiana, June 27
Now 39, the amazing Chris Wickard of Indiana takes the women's state Best of the U.S. title for the fourth consecutive time. Besides being an exceptionally nice person, Chris has been one of the most consistent Championship performers. She finished 11th in 2006, 15th in 2007 and 13th in 2008. D.J. Hanback, who represented Indiana in 2006 just missed this year's podium, finishing 4th Hoosier, just behind Luke Beasley, who raced at the Championship last year.

This year's medalists for Indiana:
First: Chris Wickard (39, Crown Point) and Greg Mueller (38, South Bend)
Second: Lisa Mueller (27, South Bend) and Greg Howard (27, South Bend)
Third: Elise Laub (18, Spencerville) and Luke Beasley (21, Muncie)

Race #25: Cheyenne Sprint Triathlon, Wyoming, June 28
Thirty year old Galen Gough from Casper topped the BOUS podium in Wyoming Sunday, with phenomenal 50-year-old Michael Walker of Cheyenne hot on his heels just 24 seconds back. If Gough is unable to accept his Championship berth, Walker could turn some heads and be very competitive with the younger set.

Wyoming's Best of the U.S. medalists for 2009:
First: Daisy Pacheco (30, Casper) and Galen Gough (30, Casper)
Second: Lisa Bomengen (32, Thermpolis) and Michael L. Walker (50, Cheyenne)
Third: Kristi Ruben (39, Cheyenne) and L.J. Brown (32, Worland)
Jason Bird, who represented Wyoming at the inaugural BOUS Championship in 2005, today was fifth.

Race #26:Lake Waconia Triathlon, Minnesota, June 28
Big stories came out of Minnesota Sunday. A year ago Duluth's Brian Bich made BOUS history as the first Masters athlete to podium at the Championship, taking home the third place trophy at the age of 42. Bich has all but owned the Lake Waconia course for the last 6 years and has earned Minnesota's 1st place BOUS award every year, missing the Championship just once - while injured in 2007. In past Championships he has placed third (2005, age 39); ninth in 2006, and third in 2008.

Both second place athletes are Minnesota legends. Kevin O'Connor, owner of prominent tri store Gear West Bike & Tri and widely recognized as one of the top "bike guys" in the country, is having a remarkable year. He is one of just two Minnesota men to beat Brian Bich since 2003. Jan Guenther, owner of Gear West Ski & Run store was unbeatable in Minnesota for years and has earned more Triathlete of the Year and Master of the Year awards than she can count. Now 50, she shows no signs of slipping. And her best sport is Nordic skiing. Beating Jan for the top BOUS spot was a breakout performance for Brooke Mutzenberger. A relative newcomer to the sport -- this is her third season -- she has taken to it quickly and been racing with the sense that "someday I'll win races."

Minnesota's BOUS medalists:
First: Brooke Mutzenberger (29, Eden Prairie) and Brian Bich (43, Duluth)
Second: Jan Guenther (50, Long Lake) and Kevin O¹Connor (38, Medina)
Third: Susan Williams (36, Minneapolis) and Matt Payne (32, Columbia Heights)

Race #27: Philly Tri, Pennsylvania, June 28
Beth Shutt earned the right to defend her 8th place at the 2008 Championship with a two-minute margin over the next Pennsylvania women. Last year, she and teammate Rick Fesler were the 3rd Fastest State Team. Fesler did not race Pennsylvania's Qualifier - he was busy taking 7th place at HyVee Triathlon. Today's BOUS 1st place male medal went to Brian Duffy, Jr. - the #3 ranked (by USAT) 20-24 year old in the country.

First: Beth Shutt (Natrona Heights) and Brian Duffy, Jr. (West Chester)
Second: Lindsay Zemba (Palmyra) and John Nowoslawski (Philadelphia)
Third: Sharon Schmidt-Mongrain (Philadelphia) and Greg Rezwich (Philadelphia)

Next up:
Best of the U.S. Week 13, July 11 & 12

Saturday, July 11
Race #28 YMCA Spudman Tri Idaho Qualifier
Sunday, July 12
Race #29 Chattanooga Riverfront Tennessee Qualifier

Best of the U.S. Info:

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