Jan Merrill
Merrill in 1975
Personal information
Born (1956-06-18) June 18, 1956 (age 67)
New London, Connecticut
Height165 cm (5 ft 5 in)
Weight52 kg (115 lb)
Sport
SportAthletics
Event800–10,000 m
ClubConnecticut College
Age Group Athletes Association
Coached byNorm Higgins
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)800 m – 2:02.80 (1977)
1500 m – 4:02.61 (1976)
Mile – 4:28.3 (1979)
3000 m – 8:42.6 (1978)
5000 m – 15:30.6 (1980)
10,000 m – 32.03. (1981)
Medal record
Representing the  United States
Pan American Games
Gold medal – first place 1975 Mexico City 1500 m
Gold medal – first place 1979 San Juan 3000 m

Janice "Jan" Melbourne Merrill (born June 18, 1956) is a retired American runner. She was the dominant long distance runner of the middle 1970s, a notable front runner, her uniform with the large "M" on her chest would usually break away to an insurmountable lead in domestic meets. She was equally untouchable in self-promotion or dealing with the media, often deferring to her coach, Norm Higgins.[1] At various points in time she held the American record in the 1500 meters (4:02.61 set on July 29, 1976) during the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, the 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters.[2] She lost other record opportunities because the only times she could get a decent race in the United States was against men.[1]

She won the U.S. title at 1500 meters twice outdoors,[3] 3000 meters 4 times,[4] twice in the indoor mile,[5] twice in the indoor 2 mile[6] and twice in Cross Country.[7] After retiring from competitions she became a high school and college track coach.[8]

Achievements

Year Tournament Venue Result Extra
Representing the  United States
1976 Olympic Games Montreal, Canada 8th 1500 m
1978 World Cross Country Championships Glasgow, Scotland 7th Long Race Individual
2nd Long Race Team
1979 World Cross Country Championships Limerick, Ireland 7th Long Race Individual
1st Long Race Team
1980 World Cross Country Championships Paris, France 5th Long Race Individual
3rd Long Race Team
1981 World Cross Country Championships Madrid, Spain 2nd Long Race Individual
2nd Long Race Team
1983 World Cross Country Championships Gateshead, England 13th Long Race Individual
1st Long Race Team

References

  1. ^ a b Verschoth, Anita (February 26, 1979). "She's His Fair Lady". sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-04.
  2. ^ Louise Mead Tricard (1 January 1996). American Women's Track and Field: A History, 1895 Through 1980. McFarland. pp. 646–. ISBN 978-0-7864-0219-9.
  3. ^ USA Outdoor Track & Field Champions: Women's 1,500 m Archived 2011-06-10 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ USA Outdoor Track & Field Champions: Women's 3,000 m Archived 2010-08-20 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ USA Indoor Track & Field Champions: Women's 1,500 m Archived 2010-08-31 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ USA Indoor Track & Field Champions: Women's 3,000 m Archived 2010-08-31 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ USA Track & Field – Women. Usatf.org. Retrieved on 2017-09-18.
  8. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Jan Merrill". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 2020-04-17.