America’s only Olympic Triathlon medalist Susan Williams, two-time Ironman World Champion Tim DeBoom, age group stars Bill Bell and Karen McKeachie, paratriathlete star Carlos Moleda and triathlon bike and wetsuit innovator and Slowtwitch founder Dan Empfield were named today as the seventh induction class of the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame.
“We are thrilled to welcome this stellar class into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame,” said Jon Gray Noll, chair of the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame Committee and member of the 2008 initial USA Triathlon Hall of Fame class. “The inductees represent every aspect of multisport, from elite athlete to contributor, and we could not be more proud of their accomplishments and their respective roles in the promotion of our sport.”
Founded in 2008, the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame recognizes great performances and significant contributions to the sport in its 40-year history. Ranging from 3 to 6 honorees per year, this year’s class brings the total of USA Triathlon Hall of Famers to 33.
The six inductees will be honored at a banquet on Saturday April 18 at 5:30 PM at the Harvard Club of Boston as part of a celebration of endurance sports leading up to the Boston Marathon.
The stellar resumes of the 2014 HOF class include:
Susan Williams, Littleton, Colorado – Elite Triathlete
The bronze medalist at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Susan Williams is the only U.S. triathlete to win an Olympic Triathlon medal. As an amateur, Williams was a champion age group triathlete and posted the fastest women's time at the 1996 ITU World Championship. After her retirement as an elite, she won the women's overall title at the 2011 USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals in Burlington, Vermont. An All-American high school swimmer and captain of the University of Alabama women’s NCAA swim team, she works as a coach and serves on the USA Triathlon Committee to develop qualification criteria for the Olympics and the Pan American Games.
Tim DeBoom, Boulder, Colorado - Elite Athlete
An elite athlete from 1995 through 2012, DeBoom won back-to-back Ironman World Championships in 2001 and 2002 and was the top U.S. finisher 6 times. Prior to his professional career, DeBoom was the top age group finisher at the ITU World Championship in 1993 and 1994. DeBoom owned a race production company which produced events such as the SOMA and Marquee triathlons. He has written a monthly column for Triathlete Magazine since 2008 and works with former sponsors PowerBar Nutrition, Shimano and Pearl Izumi as a consultant on product development and athlete recruitment.
Bill Bell, Palm Desert, California – Age Group Athlete
Bell entered his first race in 1982 and still competes in multisport events at the age of 92. He has finished more than 300 events, including 32 Ironman triathlons, 19 of which were the Ironman World Championship in Kona, and 41 Ironman 70.3 events. Bell won his age group five times at the Ironman World Championship [1994-1997 and 1999]. He also won his age group at the 1983 and 1985 Ultraman Hawaii contests as well as the 1987, 1991 and 1992 editions of the World’s Toughest Triathlon.
Karen McKeachie, Ann Arbor, Michigan - Age Group Athlete
McKeachie is a 15-time age group national champion and 6-time age group world champion. She was named USA Triathlon’s Overall Triathlete of the Year in 1999 – the only plus-40 female age group athlete to earn the honor. She was the USA Triathlon Masters Triathlete of the Year in 2000 and was the overall winner of the 2011 Trek Women’s Triathlon in Howell Michigan. And, at 58 years, 5 months and 8 days, she became the oldest athlete to win her gender outright in a race with 200-plus finishers. An indefatigable race director for running races, triathlons and marathon swims, she also co-founded Triathlon Today, which became Inside Triathlon and is credited with creating the first women's bike saddle.
Carlos Moleda, Bluffton, South Carolina – Age Group Triathlete
A Navy SEAL and Purple Heart recipient, Moleda was hit by enemy fire and paralyzed during Operation Just Cause in Panama in 1989. Undaunted, Moleda became a ground breaking hand cycle paratriathlete who was the first to break the 11 hour barrier at the Ironman World Championship - and won that title a record four times. He is a 7-time national champion and won the Buffalo Springs Lake Paratriathlon overall title twice. Moleda helped develop rules for Paratriathlon events and completed the Race Across America as a member of a 4-person hand cycle team in 8 days and 9 hours.
Dan Empfield, Valyermo California – Contributor
Empfield completed his first triathlon in 1980 and did the 1981 Ironman in Kona. Empfield founded Quintana Roo where he invented the first triathlon specific wetsuit in 1987 and developed the first triathlon-specific bike, which was ridden by the likes of Lance Armstrong and Jurgen Zack, who set an Ironman Hawaii bike split record on a QR. As a race director, he resurrected the U.S. Triathlon Series, hosting 21 events in 1997 through 1999. In 2005, he co-authored a membership initiative which amended the bylaws to reform USA Triathlon’s election processes. In this decade, he created an innovative bike fitting system known as Fit Institute Slowtwitch (F.I.S.T.), recognized globally by most manufacturers. Empfield is also the founder and owner of the influential triathlon website Slowtwitch.com.
USA Triathlon Hall of Fame
Judy Flannery (Age Group Athlete)
Jon Gray Noll (Contributor)
Verne Scott (Contributor)
Karen Smyers (Elite Athlete)
Sheila Taormina (Elite Triathlete)
Jim Curl (Contributor)
Carl Thomas (Contributor)
Barb Lindquist (Elite Athlete)
Paula Newby-Fraser (Elite Athlete)
Valerie Silk (Contributor)
Susan Bradley-Cox (Age Group Athlete)
Dave McGillivray (Contributor)
Dave Scott (Elite Athlete)
Mark Allen (Elite Athlete)
Scott Molina (Elite Athlete)
Scott Tinley (Elite Athlete)
Ethel Autorino (Age Group Athlete)
Sally Edwards (Contributor)
Bob Babbitt (Contributor)
Missy LeStrange (Age Group Athlete)
Jim MacLaren (Contributor)
Julie Moss (Contributor)
Madonna Buder (Age Group Athlete)
Mike Pigg (Elite Athlete)
John Collins (Contributor)
Judy Collins (Contributor)
Tom Warren (Contributor)
Bill Bell (Age Group Athlete)
Karen McKeachie (Age Group Athlete)
Carlos Moleda (Age Group Athlete)
Tim DeBoom (Elite Athlete)
Susan Williams (Elite Athlete)
Dan Empfield (Contributor)