2012 San Diego WTS Men

While $20,000 went to overall men's winner and Olympic co-favorite Jonathan Brownlee of Great Britain, what came to Hunter Kemper for his 5th place and Manuel Huerta for his 9th place finish was priceless. For Kemper, his flawless race topped off by a blazing 30:28 10k earned a rare 4th straight trip to the Olympic triathlon. For Cuban-born U.S, citizen Manuel Huerta, his gutsy 30:45 run at the end of an aggressive swim and bike was the fulfillment of a long held dream - and a ticket to the 2012 London Olympics. At the end, the 2012 San Diego round of the ITU World Triathlon Series was a dramatic success.

All photos © Timothy Carlson

2000 Olympic gold medalist Simon Whitfield of Canada charges into the swim and ended up with an 11th place finish.

Great Britain's Tim Don, the 2006 ITU World Champion and 2010 Hy-Vee winner, had his mind set on joining the Brownlee brothers in London and earning a 4th Olympic slot. He finished 7th and was not yet guaranteed a London start

A moment before the start in Mission Bay.

The Charge of the Lightly Clad Brigade

Moments before the dive.

Tim Don, Brent McMahon and Bevan Docherty high step into the swim.

Raphael of France, Brownlee of Great Britain, Chrabot of the USA and Vasiliev of Russia lead the pack after one lap of the swim.

Kris Gemmell of New Zealand charges past the Mission Beach rollercoaster.

The very large lead pack cruises along the waters of Mission Bay.

Hunter Kemper stayed in a safe and smart pocket of the pack all day.

Huge lead pack descends from the causeway bridge.

Jonathan Brownlee shows stylish cornering ability while leading as South Africa's Richard Murray gives chase. Brownlee finished 1st, Murray 3rd behind runner-up Sven Riederer of Switzerland. .

Manny Huerta charges to 5th place through two laps of the run.

Jarrod Shoemaker leads Hunter Kemper in the early stages of the run. Shoemaker finished 24th and 4th American.

Matt Chrabot ran 31:43 on his way to a disappointing 34th place.

Tim Don (finished 7th) leads Manny Huerta (finished 9th) and Bevan Docherty (finished 8th) at the start of the bell lap.

Hunter Kemper - mission accomplished.

Winner Jonathan Brownlee congratulates Hunter Kemper for making his fourth Olympic team.

Manny Huerta exultant after finishing 9th and earning the second and final U.S. men's 2012 Olympic spot.

For a long moment, Manny Huerta found it hard to believe he had fought for and won his Olympic dream.