Sunday, September 16, 2007

Shoemaker Digs Deep To Win Olympic Spot

By Timothy Carlson

Young Jarrod Shoemaker ignored the oddsmakers who made 2005 ITU World Number One Hunter Kemper and two-time ITU World Cup winner Andy Potts prohibitive favorites.

As he did at the BG HY-Vee World Cup in June, Shoemaker used a fast 31:37 run to finish first American. Today he was 11th overall, but more important - he outpaced US veteran stars Hunter Kemper (15th) and Andy Potts (18th) to grab the first US Men's Olympic Triathlon team slot by the throat.

While Shoemaker has a 2005 Under 23 ITU World Championship, the 2006 US Elite championship, and two top five finishes in ITU World Cup racing, his 2007 season has been full of ups and downs - including a 56th place finish at the ITU World Championship two weeks ago in Hamburg Germany.

More to the point, Shoemaker scored top American at the prestigious Hy-Vee World Cup in June, and came into Beijing under the radar until he blasted past Matt Reed, Kemper and Potts in the first kilometer of the run.

Shoemaker's 31:37 run, while 56 seconds slower than overall winner Javer Gomez of Spain, was 21 seconds faster than Kemper and 41 seconds faster than Potts.

Shoemaker celebrated his first big victory in New York by hurling at the line. "I kept up that tradition today," said the 25-year-old star, wiping off the remain from his smiling face.

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