Lynn Jennings

Lynn Jennings

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Lynn Jennings
Height 5'5" (165 cm)
Weight 110 lbs (50 kg)
PR 5000 - 15.07.92 (1990); 10000 - 31.19.89 (1992)
Born July 10, 1960 at Princeton, NJ
Club Nike's Athletics West

Lynn A. Jennings (1960—) is a retired American athlete who competed mainly in the long distances. She is one of the best female American runners of all time, with a range from 1500 meters to the marathon. She dominated all three of the sport's major disciplines--track, road, and cross country. She is only one of two American women ever to earn an Olympic medal at a track event longer than 800 meters,[1] and her American road-race record for 10,000 meters (31:06) still stands--yet she almost certainly did her finest running on cross country courses.


Running career

Jennings was the bronze medalist at 10,000 meters in the 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 finally broken by Deena Drossin 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. In high school in Harvard, Massachusetts, she ran on the boys' cross country team (there was no girls' team at the time) and, remarkably, won the league championship race.[2] Jennings won the U.S. National Cross Country Championship an incredible nine times. Though there was more fame to be had and money to be made in other venues, she loved cross country.

Jennings 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. In 1999, approaching age 39, she ran 2:38 officially in Boston. Her range, from a national high school record in the 1500 meters to a 2:38 marathon, is rare and impressive. Her on-and-off coach, John Babington of the Liberty Athletic Club, had a role in this range. She later ran for Nike's Athletics West team.

Career highlights

1992 Olympic 10,000m bronze medalist; three-time World Cross Country champion (1990-1991-1992); three-time U.S. Olympian (1988, 1992, 1996); 1995 World Indoor 3000-meter silver medalist; 1993 World Indoor 3000-meter bronze medalist, fifth place in both the 1991 and 1993 World Championships at 10,000 meters; nine-time U.S. Outdoor champion

Olympic Performances
Year Age City Event Place Time
1988 Summer 28 Seoul Women's 10,000 metres 6th 31:39.93
1992 Summer 32 Barcelona Women's 10,000 metres 3rd 31:19.89
1996 Summer 36 Atlanta Women's 5,000 metres 9th 15:17.50

Jennings was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2006, the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in 2001, and the RRCA Hall of Fame in 1991.

Jennings currently lives in Portland, Oregon.

External links


  1. Shalane Flanagan, representing the U.S. earned the Bronze medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
  2. Spotlight: Lynn Jennings, Marathon. Sports Illustrated Women (April 9, 1999).