Jennifer Simpson

Jennifer Simpson

United States

Middle distance runner and steeplechaser



High School - As a student at Oviedo High School, Simpson was a 5-time state champion in track and 3-time state champion in cross country. She also set Florida high school records in the mile, two-mile, 5000 m, and three-mile.


2006 - Jennifer won NCAA Outdoor championship steeplechase in a time of 9:53.04.


2007 - Jennifer won USATF Outdoor steeplechase championship in 9:34.64. She finished 7th in heats at IAAF World Outdoors in the steeplechase in a time of 9:51.04. She finished 7th at NCAA Outdoors in the steeplechase in a time of 9:59.81. She also ran at Drake Relays in the steeplechase in a time of 9:44.31. In April, She finished 4th in 5,000m at Stanford in a time of 15:48.24.


2008 - At the time of her 2008 Olympic appearance, Simpson was enrolled at the University of Colorado. At the U.S. trials, Simpson qualified for the United States Olympic team by finishing third in the steeplechase. Simpson qualified for the first women's steeplechase final in Olympic history by finishing third in her heat. She set a new American record of 9:22.26 in the final and placed ninth.


2009 - In 2009, she set NCAA records in the mile, 3000 m, and 5000 m indoors, 1500 m, 3000 m steeplechase and 5000 m outdoors. She also topped her own American record in the Steeplechase at the 2009 World Championships with a time of 9:12:50, finishing 5th overall. While primarily a steeplechaser, she ran 3:59.90 in the 1500 m at the 2009 Prefontaine Classic. At the time of the event, this performance made her the third-fastest female 1500 m runner in U.S. track and field history.


Simpson came fifth at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics, running a North American record time of 9:12.50 minutes for the event. It is also the best mark by any athlete from the Americas. She was the 2009 US Champion in the steeplechase. Despite the fact that she could have signed a professional contract, Simpson returned to school in the fall of 2009 to compete in Cross Country. On October 31, 2009, Simpson captured the Big 12 individual title, running a 6-kilometer course in 20 minutes, 27.46 seconds. She was favored to win the NCAA Cross Country Championship on November 23, 2009, but collapsed after leading for the first two miles. She wound up in 163rd place. Simpson commented that she felt light headed all of a sudden. Simpson won the Inaugural Bowerman Award in 2009. The Bowerman award is given to college track's Athlete of the Year.


2010 - In January 2010, Simpson signed a multi-year endorsement deal with New Balance. Simpson later changed coaches from her University of Colorado at Boulder coach, Mark Wetmore, in favor of the Air Force Academy coach Juli Benson. Simpson missed most of the 2010 season due to a stress reaction in her right femur. She married on October 8, 2010.


2011 - Simpson began the 2011 season strong, winning the Mile and 3000 meters championships at the 2011 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships. She qualified for the2011 World Championships in Athletics by finishing second in the 1500 meters at the US Track and Field Championship. Simpson won a gold medal at the 1500 meters at the World Championships in a time of 4:05:40. She beat rivals Hannah England and Natalia Rodriguez. Simpson's gold medal was considered a surprise. She became the first American woman to win the event since Mary Decker at the inaugural World Championships in 1983.


2012 - On July 1, 2012, Simpson qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics with a third place finish in the women's 1500 m at the 2012 United States Olympic Trials. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, Simpson qualified for the 1500 meter semifinal in 4:13.89 but did not qualify for the final. Announced a return to coach Mark Wetmore in December 2012.


2013 - Simpson claimed the USATF Outdoor 5000 meter title in 15:33.77 in the 95+ degree heat of Des Moines, Iowa on June 23.

Simpson won a silver medal at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow on August 15, 20013, in the 1500m with a time of 4:02.99.

Simpson won the September 22, 2013 Fifth Avenue Mile in 4:19.3.

- 10th in Brussels 1500m (4:10.70)

- 7th at Zurich 5,000m (14:56.26)

- 2nd at World Outdoor 1500m (4:02.99)

 - 1st at Monaco 1500m (4:00.48)

- 3rd at Madrid 800m (2:02.15) - 1st at USA Outdoors 5,000m (15:33.77)

- 1st at USATF Oxy HP 800m (2:00.45)

- 1st at Drake Relays 1500m (4:03.35)


2014 - Jenny Simpson accepting the 2014 Jackie Joyner Kersee Award. Simpson was runner-up at the Boston New Balance Indoor Grand Prix 2 mile in 9:26.19 on February 8. Simpson followed that performance with a 2nd place finish in 27:57 at US Cross Country Championship on February 15.

At the Prefontaine Classic on May 31, she improved her personal best in the 1500 to 3:58.28. Simpson won the 1500 meters at the 2014 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 4:04.96. On July 4, Simpson became the 2nd fastest American 1500 meter runner by running 3:57.22 at a Diamond League race in Paris. With two wins late in the season, including a dramatic diving finish at theWeltklasse Zürich, she won the 2014 IAAF Diamond League.

On September 13, 2014, Simpson repeated her 2013 win of the Fifth Avenue Mile in 4:19.4. At the end of the year she was selected as the winner of the Jackie Joyner Kersee Award.

- May 18: 4:00 2nd at Shanghai Diamond League

- May 31: 3:58 4th place at Pre Diamond League

- June 14: 4:02 3rd at adidas Grand Prix

- June 29: 4:04 1st USATF Champs

- July 5: 3:57 2nd place at Paris Diamond League

- August 21: 4:00 1st Diamond League Stockholm

- August 28: 3:59 1st at Zurich

- Sept 5th: 8:29 4th at Memorial van Damme

- September 13: 4:19.4 at Fifth Avenue Mile

- Sep 22nd: 4:19 Road Mile 1st in NY


2015 - Simpson won the Boston New Balance Indoor Grand Prix 2 mile in 9:18.35 on February 7, setting a new American record, 5 seconds ahead of Regina Jacobs' 2002 American record at the same event, 9:23.38. At the Prefontaine Classic on May 30, she won in a season best in the 1500 opener to 4:00.28.




Personal bests






Mile run


Fifth Avenue Mile

September 22, 2013


800 m


Los Angeles (OC), CA

May 17, 2013

1500 m


Paris Saint-Denis

July 5, 2014

Mile run


Raleigh (USA)

June 19, 2004

3000 m



September 5, 2014

5000 m


Zürich (Letzigrund)

August 29, 2013

3000 m s'chase


Berlin, Germany

August 17, 2009


1500 m


New York (Armory), NY

February 11, 2012

Mile run


College Station, TX

February 28, 2009

3000 m


College Station, TX

March 14, 2009

Two miles


Boston (Roxbury), MA

February 7, 2015



National championships

2014, once National champion in the 1500 m 2013, once National champion in the 5000 m 2007, 2009, twice National champion in the 3000 m steeplechase 2012, once National champion in the indoor 1500 m 2011, once National champion in the indoor mile 2011, 2012, twice National champion in the indoor 3000 m


International championships

2014, Winner of Diamond League in the 1500 m 2015, Winner of Diamond League in the 1500 m


External links

Jennifer Simpson su iaaf.orgIAAF Jennifer Simpson su, Sports Reference LLC Jennifer Simpson su usatf.orgUSA Track & Field


 Jennifer Simpson










World Cross Country Championships


Junior race




World Cross Country Championships


Junior race




World Championships


3000 m s'chase




Olympic Games


3000 m s'chase




World Championships


3000 m s'chase




World Championships


1 500 m




Olympic Games


1 500 m

Semi final



World Championships


1 500 m