Wake Forest Hall of Famer Hunter Kemper Qualifies for Fourth Olympic Games
May 14, 2012
SAN DIEGO - Former Wake Forest track & field standout and Hall of Famer Hunter Kemper qualified for his fourth consecutive trip to the Olympic Games after finishing fifth in the ITU World Triathlon Championship Series on Saturday in San Diego.
Kemper earned the automatic bid to the London Olympics as the first American to cross the finish line, coming in with a total time o 1:49:18. Kemper will be joined at the Olympics by Cuban-born American Manuel Huerta, who placed ninth in 1:49:31.
Kemper, 36, will be making his fourth trip to the Olympics after qualifying every time since the triathlon was introduced to the Games in 2000 in Sydney, Australia.
In the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, Kemper finished seventh out of 55 competitors with a total time of 1:49:48. He also finished ninth in Athens in 2004 and 17th in Sydney in 2000.
Kemper is one of the most decorated U.S. triathletes ever, having received numerous awards from the U.S. Olympic Committee, including Triathlete of the Year five times and USOC Sportsman of the Year in 2005. He was also the first-ever triathlete to be featured on a Wheaties cereal box in 2007.
Kemper was inducted into the Wake Forest Hall of Fame in September of 2008. He earned eight varsity letters as a member of the cross country and track & field teams before graduating in 1998 with a degree in business. Kemper earned All-ACC honors in 1997 after finishing second in the 10,000 meters, and he was a four-time member of the All-ACC Academic Team.
Another former Demon Deacon, Greg Billington, also had a strong showing at the San Diego triathlon. Billington, a 2011 Wake Forest grad, was the third American across the finish line, coming in 15th overall in a total time of 1:49:50. Billington, who was six spots and 19 minutes away from Huerta for an automatic bid to London, will serve as the U.S. alternate for the London Olympics.
The Opening Ceremonies for the 2012 Olympics are scheduled for Friday, July 27. The men's triathlon is set for Tuesday, Aug. 7, at Hyde Park.