Billy Nelson
Personal information
Full nameWilliam Andrew Nelson
Nationality United States
Born (1984-09-11) September 11, 1984 (age 37)
Bakersfield, California[1]
Height1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)
Weight55 kg (121 lb)
SportTrack and field
Event(s)3000 metres steeplechase
College teamColorado
Coached byMark Wetmore[1] & Heather Burroughs
Achievements and titles
World finals2011, steeplechase
National finals2008 Olympic Trials Runner Up 2011 USA Champion
Olympic finals2008, steeplechase
Personal best(s)1500 m: 3:41.57 (2012) 3000 m steeplechase: 8:17.27 (2011)

William Andrew Nelson (born September 11, 1984, in Bakersfield, California, attended Taft Union High School) is an American steeplechase runner.[2] He is a two-time (2007 and 2008) Big 12 Conference steeplechase titleholder, a six-time NCAA All-American, and a runner-up at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships.[1] He also posted a personal best time of 8:17.27 by finishing eleventh at the 2011 Diamond League Meet in Monaco.[3] In the same year, Nelson claimed his first ever career title at the U.S. Outdoor Track & Field Championships, with a time of 8:28.46.[4][5]

Nelson earned a spot on the U.S. team for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, by placing second at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, with a time of 8:21.47.[6] He competed as a member of U.S. track and field team in the men's 3000 m steeplechase, along with his teammates Anthony Famiglietti and Joshua McAdams. Nelson ran in the second heat against thirteen other athletes, including Famiglietti, and France's Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad, who later won the silver medal in the final. He finished the race in eleventh place by six tenths of a second (0.60) behind Great Britain's Andrew Lemoncello, with a time of 8:36.66. Nelson, however, failed to advance into the final, as he placed thirtieth overall, and was ranked farther below four mandatory slots for the next round.[7]

Nelson earned a spot on the U.S. team for the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, by winning the Steeplechase event at the U.S. Track & Field Championships.

Nelson also sought to qualify for his second Olympics in London; however, he finished only in eighth place at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, with a time of 8:32.21.[8]

In 2014, Nelson decided to take his participation in Track & Field to the next level, by running for the Freedom of Leonard Peltier. He ran in a "Free Leonard Peltier" jersey in four races, including the Payton Jordan Invitational, where he won the steeplechase in a time of 8:28.40. He also wore the jersey at the USA Championships in Sacramento, CA, where he place 12th overall.[9]

Nelson currently resides in Boulder, Colorado, with his wife Alisa, and four children Arabella Kennedy, Noah Andrew, Lonnie Jack and Wyatt Watkins. He works as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Cross Country/Track & Field programs at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Best friend is Former Drake Relays Champion (2-Time) and crime stopper[10] Burke Bockman and current Army Captain Christopher Pedi who is an alternate for the All Army Marathon Team. Recently, Billy was asked by fellow Buffalo and Olympian, Shalaya Kipp to officiate her wedding. She married former CU runner Steve Kasica.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d "USATF – Billy Nelson". USA Track & Field. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  2. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Billy Nelson". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on April 18, 2020. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  3. ^ "Centrowitz resets Oregon 1,500 record on European tour". Register Guard Online. July 23, 2011. Archived from the original on February 16, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  4. ^ "Billy Nelson Wins USATF Steeplechase Title". Boulder Running. June 25, 2011. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  5. ^ a b Evans, Jeff (June 24, 2012). "Chase is on again for Billy Nelson". The Bakersfield Californian. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  6. ^ Dunaway, James (July 6, 2008). "Gay cramps up and will miss Beijing 200m - US Olympic Trials, Day 7". IAAF. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  7. ^ "Men's 3000m Steeplechase Round 1 – Heat 2". NBC Olympics. Archived from the original on August 21, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  8. ^ Ewing, Zach (June 28, 2012). "Nelson finishes 8th, misses out on Olympics". The Bakersfield Californian. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  9. ^ "Mike Sandrock: Billy Nelson racing to back Leonard Peltier". June 16, 2014.
  10. ^ "Utah Utes coach Larry Krystkowiak stops two alleged thieves". October 5, 2013.