2 Athletes From Kane County Make USA Olympic Team

2 Athletes From Kane County Make USA Olympic Team

At least two athletes from Kane County have made the 2016 Olympics Team USA.

Ben Kanute of Geneva and Evan Jager of Algonquin will represent our part of the world in the Summer Games, which take place Aug. 5 through Aug. 21 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

Here’s some profile information, courtesy of the Team USA website:

Evan Jager of Algonquin

  • Evan JagerName: Evan Jager
  • Sport: Track & Field
  • Discipline: Steeplechase
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 145
  • Current Residence: Portland, OR
  • College: Portland State University ’13

Olympic Experience:

  • 2012 Olympic Games-6th in 300-meter steeplechase

Career Highlights:

  • 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials champion
  • 2009 USA Outdoor Championships, 3rd in 5,000m
  • 2008 USA junior champion in 1,500m

Fun Facts:

  • Made his steeplechase debut early in 2012

Learn more:

Ben Kanute of Geneva

  • Ben_Kanute_2015Name: Ben Kanute
  • Sport: Triathlon
  • Height: 6’
  • Birthdate: 12/14/1992
  • Birthplace: Illinois
  • Hometown: Geneva, Ill.
  • Current Residence: Tucson, Ariz.
  • High School: Marmion Academy
  • College: University of Arizona ’14, Physiology

Career Highlights

  • 2016 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team Member
  • USA Triathlon National Team Member
  • 2015 USA Triathlon Elite National Champion
  • Won both draft-legal sprint-distance and Olympic-distance titles at the 2013 USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships
  • 2010 USA Triathlon Junior Elite National Champion
  • 2008 USA Triathlon Junior Elite National Champion

Elite Triathlon Career:

  • Qualified for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team with a 17th-place finish at World Triathlon Yokohama on May 14
  • Qualified for the team as the third-ranked man in the USA Triathlon Objective Rankings System based on his performance in Yokohama and in the 2015 WTS Grand Final in Chicago
  • Finished 11th at the New Plymouth ITU World Cup after a gutsy bike leg where he made a break from the field
  • Opened his season with a win at a CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup in Clermont, Florida, followed by a fourth place finish at the CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Championships in Sarasota, Florida


  • Won his first elite-level USA Triathlon national title as the top U.S. finisher at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Chicago, which doubled as the USA Triathlon Elite National Championships
  • Finished 20th overall at the Grand Final and finished the 2015 season as the top-ranked American man in the ITU World  Triathlon Series
  • Posted a ninth-place finish at ITU World Triathlon Auckland for his best career WTS finish


  • Closed out the season with a silver medal at the Tongyeong ITU World Cup on Oct. 18, his best finish in an ITU World Cup event
  • Earned a top-10 finish at the ITU Under-23 World Championships, finishing sixth in 1:54:01
  • Finished a career-best 11th place at ITU World Triathlon Stockholm on Aug. 23
  • Placed 5th as a member of the U.S. team at the Hamburg ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships
  • Placed 4th at the U23 Dallas PATCO Triathlon Pan American Championships
  • Finished runner-up at the Sarasota PATCO Sprint Triathlon Pan American Championships


  • Placed third at the Dallas ITU Pan American Cup on June 1
  • Placed third at Holten ITU Sprint Triathlon Premium European Cup on June 29
  • Placed 14th at July 6 ITU World Triathlon Kitzbuehel • Part of third place relay team at July 21 ITU Mixed Team Relay World Championships
  • Finished 17th at Tiszaujvaros ITU World Cup on August 10
  • Placed 28th in U23 division at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final London on September 11
  • Finished 43rd at Cozumel ITU World Cup on October 6
  • Won individual titles in both the draft-legal sprint-distance and the Olympic-distance races at the 2013 USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships


  • Finished fifth at 2012 Geneva ITU European Cup and was ninth at the 2012 Holten Premium ITU European Cup
  • Finished third overall and was the undergraduate champion at the 2012 USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships
  • Finished sixth at the 2012 USA Triathlon Elite National Championships in Buffalo, N.Y.

Amateur Triathlon Career:

  • Won the 2008 and 2010 USA Triathlon Junior Elite national titles and was the 2007 USA Triathlon Youth Elite National Championships winner
  • Five-time USA Triathlon All-America selection
  • Represented the U.S. at the 2009, 2010 and 2011 ITU Junior World Championships
  • Bronze medalist at the 2009 Pan American Junior Championship
  • Won the 2008 16-19 age group world title

Up Close and Personal:

  • Parents are Mike and Eileen Kanute
  • Has two younger brothers, Josh and Nick
  • Attended the University of Arizona and competed on the school’s club triathlon team, the TriCats, rather than participate in a varsity sport
  • Was an all-state swimmer and cross country runner in high school • Completed his first triathlon at age 8
  • Also played sports like baseball and soccer
  • Proudest moment was watching his brother win the Youth Elite National Championships as an underdog
  • Typically finds a bad made-for-TV movie to watch the night before a race
  • Loves triathlon because it allows him to be outside and test the limits of his body
  • Considers coffee one of his biggest hobbies
  • When he’s not racing, he likes to hang out in cafes, watch Netflix, play Xbox and read books
  • Loves to grill when he’s cooking
  • Will root for any of Chicago’s professional sports teams
  • Favorite quote is from Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Enhance Your Game Experience

Read More