Tag Archives: #AGNC

Recapping Bella’s 2019 season!

10 Sep

As a proud father I’m blogging today and making my case for my daughter Bella Buenting to be the junior female athlete of the year! 2019 was a very impressive season for Bella, sure it had some ups and downs but overall, she rocked it!
I simply love that myself and Bella share the passion of Triathlon together and that we spend our summer training and racing together! She is an amazing kid and the hours we spend, swim, bike, run (mostly biking together she swims mostly with Minnetonka swim club) is just awesome! I live for these moments and our workouts together! Racing with her is so fun as well! Especially events that I compete in the Olympic distance, and she competes in the sprint and we see each other along the race course, or at the finish line! Nothing better than a sweaty hug at the finish line from my daughter! Bella also teaches me some things in transition and at race sites, she is a very smart kid and sometimes gives me a nice fresh perspective on something I maybe miss.
The future for Bella is exciting! Triathlon is an emerging sport at the NCAA level for women and Bella is being recruited by several schools and has been taking visits all year long to visit schools, meet with coaches and so on. It’s also a lot of work and stress for her as she has to check in weekly with all of these coaches giving them updates, they call her, text her, email her often making their sales pitches for their schools and programs. It’s fun but it’s also a lot of work for her but she is very blessed to have so many great options to choose from!

So let’s talk Bella’s 2019 season!
Race #1 kicked off in April down in Greenville, SC for USA Triathlon Duathlon National Championships. This would be the first ever Duathlon that Bella competed in and it came in the middle of high school track season so she was not 100% dialed in to Duathlon mode, and it was her first outdoor bike ride of the season since we had a harsh winter. But against the fastest girls in the nation in a draft legal event Bella finished 4th at National champs! 2 of the 3 girls that beat her had won athlete of the year awards in 2018 from USAT so you can see the competition was stiff!
Race #2 Buffalo Sprint Triathlon in Minnesota. Again this was coming right after she ran in the high school sections track meet doing the 1600 and 3200 (she finished 6th in 3200 at sections and ran a PR time for the season) So training for Triathlon was a little limited. But she cranked out a new junior female course record! Crushing the old mark, she finished 4th overall female and won her age group by a lot!
Race #3 Lake Minnetonka Triathlon; this is a sprint race but it has a longer swim and longer bike than a typical sprint. This might be Bella’s premier race of the season her performance was amazing! Bella finished 3rd overall female, within 2 minutes of the winner who has so many Triathlon wins in her career! She crushed the junior female course record and of course won her age group. Her splits were outstanding here and she really had a great day beating some of the states best athletes!
Race #4 Junior Elite Nationals in Monroe, WA This was not Bella’s day. Draft legal race against 75 of the nations fastest and best athletes. She got a bad number draw so lined up in a tough spot on the beach got bottled up in the swim so could not get into the lead or chase group on the bike and if you get caught in a small group of 2 riders out of the lead groups in draft legal it’s just really hard to fight back up to the front. She still beat about 30 girls that day but certainly not the result she wanted. Time to move on and shake this one off.
Race #5 Mpls Triathlon (sprint) Bella bounced back and had a strong race here! It was really hot and humid so she rocked that swim/bike combo to create a lead gap and then just survived the run. But she finished 3rd overall female landed on the podium and had a great result! Of course winning age group again.
Race #6 Heart of the Lakes Triathlon (short course)
Well Bella was back at this race! She had her top junior female competition in the field and Bella came out racing hard! She was the overall female winner! Crushed the junior female course record! And has the 3rd fastest female time on this course in the races 30 years.
Race #7 USA Triathlon age group National championships in Cleveland, OH (sprint)
This is a deep and competitive field again with the best of the best in the country racing! Bella came out and put together a good swim, solid bike and not a bad run. She finished 10th out of a deep 60 girl field and qualified for Team USA in 2020.
Race #8 Maple Grove Triathlon (USA Triathlon regional championships)
This was a last-minute sign up for Bella. She had been gone all week at cross country camp with her high school team Minnetonka and had not done any swimming or biking for two weeks since her last race in Cleveland. But she thought hey I have a Saturday free so why not crush one more Triathlon with my dad this year! 😊 Bella did not have the race she wanted her legs where just dead. But she was still good enough for a 3rd overall female finish against some great older athletes! She crushed another junior female course record by over 5 minutes and of course won her age group. So in the end it turned out successful!

That’s a pretty busy summer for a 16-17-year-old kid but she handled it well and loved it! Of course, mixing in a bunch of college visits as well! Hopefully she did enough to win the junior female of the year I mean 4 course records! And never losing to another junior female all season! And really crushing her competition at each race! I think they should also give a junior male of the year award to Kyle Swenson also as he had an amazing season and is a great kid! Bella and Kyle have become friends and now chat at cross country meets when they see each other!
Bella so proud of you and all you accomplish! You work hard, have passion and dedication and it pays off! Enjoy senior year of high school and so excited to see what the future brings!

Cheers
Mike “Proud papa” Buenting

Eye on the Prize!

25 Jul

The summer of 2019 has been loaded with success and fun racing Triathlon! I’m so blessed that my 16 year old daughter loves the sport of Triathlon like I do and that we can train and race together!
Things have really clicked for Bella this summer, she has set 3 junior female course records, has won her age group in all 4 of her Minnesota races and has placed #4 overall at Buffalo sprint Triathlon, #3 overall at Lake Minnetonka Triathlon, #3 overall at MPLS (LifeTime) Triathlon, and was the #1 overall winner of Heart of the Lakes Triathlon. And doing so in some pretty impressive times!
Mom and dad could not be more proud!
So here I sit on Thursday July 25th reading the race pre-view and predictions from Minnesota Tri-News about one of my favorite local events the Chisago Triathlon and then going why are Bella and myself not on the start list? We had planned to do this race early in the season but never registered and then as July rolled around we re-thought our plans and goals and choose against doing it. Why? Well both of us just raced two weeks in a row and if we did this race it would make 3 weeks in a row. Sure we could do it and handle it, but I know both of us are a bit tired and both of us wanted to have a big training week this week and not taper/rest for another race. So as we struggle not to be on that start line and go take on some great competition we have to remember what the ultimate goal of the summer and season is! And we must keep our eye on the prize!
In 2018 Bella and myself raced ITU World Championships in Australia as a father/daughter duo and it was amazing! So the 2019 goal is to qualify for 2020 ITU Worlds and get back to having another amazing experience! And in order for us to qualify it means on August 10th and 11th we must be in peak shape, and be rested! Which means no Chisago race this weekend and keep our eye on the prize and that goal we set out at the start of the year chasing!
Racing Triathlon we make so many sacrifices, from skipping nights out with friends, so we can get sleep and rise and grind bright and early and so on. But it’s all worth it because Triathlon is a family way of life with us and we just love the sport and all it gives us and teaches us! We love the Triathlon community! So as hard as it is right now to sacrifice and give up doing a race that we really love, we both know that we must do so in order to be prepared for USAT AGNC in a few weeks.
So best of luck to everyone racing this weekend! Myself and Bella are sad we won’t see you in transition or get to chat and hear Jerry call our names as we cross the finish line! Instead we have a big weekend of training ahead of us and some rest!
Eye on the prize! Cleveland, OH and USA Triathlon age group national championships! And hopefully another spot on TEAM USA and a trip to ITU Worlds!

Cheers
MB and Bella (daddy/daughter Triathlete dynamos! )