Lynn Jennings
Personal information
Full nameLynn Alice Jennings
BornJuly 1, 1960 (1960-07) (age 63)
Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.
Medal record
Women's athletics
Representing  United States
Olympic Games
Bronze medal – third place 1992 Barcelona 10,000 metres
World Indoor Championships
Silver medal – second place 1995 Barcelona 3000 metres
Bronze medal – third place 1993 Toronto 3000 metres
World Cross Country Championships
Gold medal – first place 1990 Aix-les-Bains Women's race
Gold medal – first place 1991 Antwerp Women's race
Gold medal – first place 1992 Boston Women's race
Silver medal – second place 1986 Neuchatel Women's race
Bronze medal – third place 1993 Amorebieta Women's race

Lynn Alice Jennings (born July 1, 1960) is a retired American long-distance runner. She is one of the best female American runners of all time, with a range from 1500 meters to the marathon. She excelled at all three of the sport's major disciplines: track, road, and cross country. She won the bronze in the Women's 10,000 metres at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. She set a world indoor record in the 5000 meter run in 1990.

She is a nine-time champion of the USA Cross Country Championships and won the IAAF World Cross Country Championships three times consecutively from 1990 to 1992. Only two other women (Norway's Grete Waitz and Kenya's Edith Masai) have achieved this feat.


Born in Princeton, New Jersey, Jennings attended the Bromfield school in Harvard, Massachusetts. She ran on the boys' cross country team, as there was no girls' team at the time. Jennings won the U.S. National Cross Country Championship nine times. She ran the Boston Marathon unofficially in 1978 and finished in 2:46, a time which would have placed third in the open women's division and a record for her age group [1]'. Graduating in Harvard, MA, in 1978, she left behind countless records, including the national high school indoor 1500-meters run.[1]

Jennings attended Princeton University and graduated with an A.B. in history in 1983 after completing a 93-page long senior thesis titled "The Harvard Shakers: A Study of the Rise and Decline of a Community."[2] Despite numerous college running titles, she left the university "unsatisified" with her performance. She failed to qualify for the 1984 Olympics,[1] but was the bronze medalist at 10,000 meters in the 1992 Summer Olympics, held in Barcelona, Spain. Her time of 31:19.89 was a new American record, and it lasted until May 3, 2002, when it was broken by Deena Kastor in Palo Alto, California.

She won the World Cross Country Championships in 1990, 1991, and 1992. The 1992 race was held at Franklin Park in Boston, on some of the same trails where she had won several Massachusetts state high school championships. She won consecutive 3000 m medals at the IAAF World Indoor Championships, taking bronze in 1993 then silver in 1995. Outdoors she had fifth-place finishes over 10,000 metres in both the 1991 and 1993 World Championships. She was also a nine-time U.S. Outdoor champion.

In 1999, approaching age 39, she ran officially in the Boston Marathon in 2:38.

Jennings currently lives in Portland, Oregon. She has become an accomplished masters rower (sculler), winning a gold medal in 2012[3] and bronze medal in 2011,[4] in the women's grand master single scull event at the Head of the Charles Regatta, one of the most competitive and prestigious long-distance rowing races in the world.

In 2023, Jennings revealed that she had suffered sexual abuse at the hands of her longtime coach John Babington starting from when she was 15 years old. Babington, who was accused of abusing two other girls, confessed to the majority of accusations when questioned by The Boston Globe but cannot be charged due to the statute of limitations.[5][6]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing the  United States
1986 World Cross Country Championships Neuchâtel, Switzerland 2nd
1987 World Cross Country Championships Warsaw, Poland 4th
World Championships Rome, Italy 6th 10,000 m 31:45.43
1988 World Cross Country Championships Auckland, New Zealand 4th
Olympic Games Seoul, South Korea 6th 10,000 m 31:39.93
1989 World Cross Country Championships Stavanger, Norway 6th
1990 World Cross Country Championships Aix-les-Bains, France 1st
Goodwill Games Seattle, United States 3rd 3000 m 8:52.34
1991 World Cross Country Championships Antwerp, Belgium 1st
World Championships Tokyo, Japan 5th 10,000 m 31:54.44
1992 World Cross Country Championships Boston, United States 1st
Olympic Games Barcelona, Spain 3rd 10,000 m 31:19.89
1993 World Indoor Championships Toronto, Canada 3rd 3000 m 9:03.78
World Cross Country Championships Amorebieta-Etxano, Spain 3rd
World Championships Stuttgart, Germany 5th 10,000 m 31:30.53
1995 World Indoor Championships Barcelona, Spain 2nd 3000 m 8:55.23
World Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 12th 10,000 m 32:12.82
1996 Olympic Games Atlanta, United States 9th 5000 m 15:17.50
Circuit wins

See also


  1. ^ a b c Peter Tucci (6 December 2006). "The Top 20 Greatest Athletes – No. 6: Lynn Jennings '83". The Daily Princetonian. Princeton University. Archived from the original on 15 March 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  2. ^ Jennings, Lynn Alice. Princeton University. Department of History (ed.). The Harvard Shakers: A Study of the Rise and Decline of a Community (Thesis).
  3. ^ "Past Winners". Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  4. ^ Powers, John (October 23, 2011). "Washington ready for old college try". Boston Globe. Boston. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  5. ^ Lorge Butler, Sarah. "John Babington, Who Coached Bronze Medalist Lynn Jennings, Banned by SafeSport". Runner's World. Retrieved March 16, 2024.
  6. ^ Hohler, Bob (February 17, 2023). "A reckoning, decades in the making: Famed Olympic runner Lynn Jennings chases down the renowned coach who abused her as a teen". The Boston Globe. Retrieved March 16, 2024.

Further reading