Green Lake Tri: Zabel more than able
SPICER — On the shores of Green Lake, 170 total competitors swarmed Zorbaz on the Lake on a perfect morning for a swim, a bike ride or a run.
But these athletes were there to do all three. And Sartell's Andrew Zabel was the first one to cross the finish line in the Green Lake Triathlon.
After having the eighth-best time in the quarter-mile swim, Zabel excelled on the road with the top splits in the 14-mile bike ride and the 3-mile run to finish with the top overall time in the sprint division in 59 minutes, 43 seconds.
Zabel was the only competitor to finish under an hour, beating Elk River's James Graif (1:06.13) and Willmar's Breck Erickson (1:06:29).
In the men's sprint division, Plymouth's Davis Melin (1:06:41) and Minneapolis' Tim Vedder (1:08:13) rounded out the top five.
Karah Osterberg, a 30-year-old from North Aurora, Illinois, was the first woman in the sprint division across the finish line with a time of 1:09:07, good for eighth overall. Osterberg's best aspect of the triathlon came in the water where she swam the quarter-mile in 7:35, second amongst women.
Following Osterberg was Ramsey's Jennifer Neuman (1:12:04), Hartford, South Dakota's Teresa Van Hyfte (1:13:03), Menomonie, Wisconsin's Anna Gunderson (1:16:16) and St. Paul's Lizzie McNamara (1:17:19) finished in the top five. The top local time came from Spicer's Amy Morrell, who was 16th among women at 1:26:00.
Forty-five athletes took on the Olympic course, consisting of three-quarter mile swim, a 22-mile bike ride and a 6-mile run. Stearns County also claimed the Olympic champion as 31-year-old Wade Cruser was the Olympic winner at 1:41:56, beating Medina's Kevin O'Connor's 1:47:36. David Holden, of Hudson, Wisconsin, was third at 1:49:14.
In the women's Olympic division, Becky Youngberg of Eden Prairie held off local challenger Sheena Dauer with a top time of 1:53:57. Dauer, from Montevideo, was second among women at 2:00:03, placing fifth overall.