Kemper, Zeiger named USOC's triathletes of the year

2000 USOC Triathlete of the Year Joanna Zeiger  Credit: Phil Cole/Allsport
Olympic triathletes Hunter Kemper and Joanna Zeiger have been named the U.S. Olympic Committees triathletes of the year. They are also nominees for the USOCs Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards.

Kemper (24, Longwood, Fla.) was the first athlete to make the U.S. mens triathlon team. He secured his place by finishing 11th at the ITU World Cup in Sydney, Australia, in April. Then, Kemper stayed in Australia and won two more Olympic spots for the U.S. men by placing seventh at the ITU World Championships. He also competed in an ITU points race, where he finished seventh.

Kemper came home and won the USA Triathlon Olympic Team Trials in Irving, Texas. He placed 17th in the inaugural mens triathlon race at the 2000 Summer Games.

Zeiger (30, Baltimore, Md.) went into the Olympics having finished no lower than third in any event this year, including victories at the St. Croix International Triathlon, the St. Anthonys Triathlon and the Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon.

Two weeks before the Olympic race, she placed second at the Mrs. Ts Chicago Triathlon and, as the first U.S. finisher, won the USA Triathlon Pro National Championship. Following an impressive fourth-place finish at the Games, she went to Hawaii, where she placed fifth in the Ironman Championships.

The USOCs Board of Directors, Athletes Advisory Council and members of the media make up the voting panel that selects the USOC Sportsman, Sportswoman and Team of the year from member organizations submissions. The top three vote recipients, including the winners, will be announced in December.

To choose its nominees, USA Triathlon asked its Athletes Advisory Council to come up with a list of candidates. These candidates were voted on by select members of the Board of Directors.

Last years USOC Sportsman of the Year award went to cyclist Lance Armstrong. The Sportswoman award went to swimmer Jenny Thompson. The U.S. womens soccer team won the Team of the Year award.

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