Essie Kelley
Medal record
Women's athletics
Representing the  United States
Pan American Games
Gold medal – first place 1979 San Juan 800 m
Gold medal – first place 1979 San Juan 4 × 400 m relay

Essie Kelley-Washington (born January 12, 1957) is an American former middle-distance runner who specialized in the 800-meter run. She was the gold medallist in that event at the 1979 Pan American Games. She also represented America at the 1983 World Championships in Athletics and 1987 Pan American Games, reaching both finals.[1][2]

At national level at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships she was a regular finalist during her career and won the 800 m twice: in 1979 then again in 1987. She was runner-up in 1978 and made her last final in 1990, taking seventh place.[1][3]

After retiring from running Kelley went into coaching. She had gained a degree in physical education from Prairie View A&M University in 1980. She served as head coach for the 1999 Pan American Games delegation and was assistant coach on the 1997 Summer Universiade team.[4]

International competitions

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
1979 Pan American Games San Juan, Puerto Rico 1st 800 m 2:01.2
1st 4 × 400 m relay 3:29.4
1983 World Championships Rome, Italy 7th 800 m 2:02.65
1987 Pan American Games Indianapolis, United States 4th 800 m 2:04.66

National titles


  1. ^ a b Essie Washington. Track and Field Brinkster. Retrieved on 2016-02-11.
  2. ^ Pan American Games. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2016-02-11.
  3. ^ a b USA Championships Women. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2016-02-11.
  4. ^ Essie Kelley-Washington - Induction Class of 2006. PVAMU Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved on 2016-02-11.