Lynn Jennings (born July 1, 1960 in Princeton, New Jersey) is a retired American long-distance runner. She is one of the best female American runners of all time, with a range from 1500 meters to the marathon. She excelled at all three of the sport's major disciplines: track, road, and cross country. She became the first American woman to win an Olympic long-distance track medal when she won the bronze at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. She set a world indoor record in the 5000 meter run in 1990. Her American road-race record for 10 km (31:06) still stands. [1 ]
She is a nine-time champion of the
USA Cross Country Championships and won the IAAF World Cross Country Championships three times consecutively from 1990 to 1992. Only two other women (Norway's Grete Waitz and Kenya's Edith Masai) have achieved this feat. Career [edit ]
Jennings attended the
Bromfield high school in Harvard, Massachusetts. She ran on the boys' cross country team, as there was no girls' team at the time. Her years as a high school state champion in cross country are reminiscent of an early scene in the film Without Limits, about Steve Prefontaine, in which Prefontaine shoots out to a determined lead very early in a high school race and is good enough to keep the lead to the finish. Jennings won the U.S. National Cross Country Championship nine times. She ran the Boston Marathon unofficially in 1978 and finished in 2:46, a time which would have placed third in the open women's division and a record for her age group '. Graduating in Harvard, MA, in 1978, she left behind countless records, including the national high school indoor 1500-meters run. [2 ] [2 ]
Princeton University. Despite numerous college running titles, she left the university "unsatisified" with her performance. She failed to qualify for the 1984 Olympics, but was the bronze medalist at 10,000 meters in the [2 ] 1992 Summer Olympics, held in Barcelona, Spain. Her time of 31:19.89 was a new American record, and it lasted until May 3, 2002, when it was broken by Deena Kastor in Palo Alto, California.
She won the
World Cross Country Championships in 1990, 1991, and 1992. The 1992 race was held at Franklin Park in Boston, on some of the same trails where she had won several Massachusetts state high school championships. She won consecutive 3000 m medals at the IAAF World Indoor Championships, taking bronze in 1993 then silver in 1995. Outdoors she had fifth place finishes over 10,000 metres in both the 1991 and 1993 World Championships. She was also a nine-time U.S. Outdoor champion.
In 1999, approaching age 39, she ran officially in the Boston Marathon in 2:38. She later ran for Nike's Athletics West team.
Jennings currently lives in
Portland, Oregon. Achievements [edit ]
Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes Representing the United States 1986 World Cross Country Championships Neuchatel, Switzerland 2nd 1987 World Cross Country Championships Warsaw, Poland 4th World Championships Rome, Italy 6th 10,000 m 31:45.43 1988 World Cross Country Championships Auckland, New Zealand 4th Olympic Games Seoul, South Korea 6th 10,000 m 31:39.93 1989 World Cross Country Championships Stavanger, Norway 6th 1990 World Cross Country Championships Aix-les-Bains, France 1st Goodwill Games Seattle, United States 3rd 3000 m 8:52.34 1991 World Cross Country Championships Antwerp, Belgium 1st World Championships Tokyo, Japan 5th 10,000 m 31:54.44 1992 World Cross Country Championships Boston, United States 1st Olympic Games Barcelona, Spain 3rd 10,000 m 31:19.89 1993 World Indoor Championships Toronto, Canada 3rd 3000 m 9:03.78 World Cross Country Championships Amorebieta, Spain 3rd World Championships Stuttgart, Germany 5th 10,000 m 31:30.53 1995 World Indoor Championships Barcelona, Spain 2nd 3000 m 8:55.23 World Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 12th 10,000 m 32:12.82 1996 Olympic Games Atlanta, United States 9th 5000 m 15:17.50 Circuit wins Tufts Health Plan 10K: 1977, 1989–1993 Cinque Mulini (XC): 1986, 1987 Pittsburgh Great Race: 1986 Freihofer's Run for Women: 1987, 1988, 1990, 1993–1996, 1998 Charlotte Observer 10K: 1987, 1988, 1992 Peachtree Road Race: 1987 Gate River Run: 1988, 1996, 1997, 1999 Falmouth Road Race: 1992 Bay to Breakers: 1993 Tulsa Run: 1993 Crim Festival of Races: 1993 Manchester Road Race: 1994 Feaster Five Road Race: 1996, 1997 See also [edit ] References [edit ] External links [edit ]