Jenny Simpson, a former standout runner on the University of Colorado’s cross country and track team and current volunteer assistant coach, was inducted into the Colorado Running Hall of Fame on April 10.
Simpson is one of the most decorated American distance athletes, winning four international medals. She won the 2011 IAAF 1,500-meter World Championship to become the first American since another former Buff, Mary Decker Slaney, won in 1983. In 2013, she narrowly missed defending her world title as she finished second overall. The 2014 season brought more success as Simpson won the IAAF Diamond League Crown at 1,500-meters and earned the world No. 1 ranking in the event.
Simpson earned another first in 2016 when she became the first American woman to win an Olympic medal in the 1,500, a bronze. She followed that up with another silver medal at the 2017 IAAF World Championships where she finished second in the 1,500-meters.
Easily one of the most decorated athletes ever at CU, Simpson won four NCAA Championships, three in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and one indoor 3,000. She also broke six NCAA records and seven CU records in 2009 en route to being named the first female recipient of the USTFCCCA’s The Bowerman Award, which is given to the top male and female collegiate track and field athlete of the year.
Simpson also performed well at the national and world level while competing for the Buffs. She made two world teams and qualified for the 2008 Olympics in the steeplechase. After graduating from CU, Simpson signed with New Balance and switched gears from the steeplechase to the 1,500. She has won nine USA track championships, four indoor and five outdoor – in five different events: 1,500, mile, 3,000, 3,000-meter steeplechase and the 5,000.
She was inducted with Ardel “Oscar” Boes, John Esquibel, Laura Haefeli and Dave Mackey.