Volunteer Coach Jenny Simpson is 1500-Meter World Champion
Sept. 1, 2011
DAEGU, South Korea - With a strong kick in the final 120 meters, Air Force volunteer distance coach Jenny Simpson won the 1500-meter gold medal during the sixth day of competition at the 2011 IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Daegu, Korea. Simpson, who trains at the Academy with head cross country coach Juli Benson, is the first U.S. woman to win the 1500-meter title since 1983.
"It's something that you dream about," Simpson said following the race. "It's not like you just go and win a race. Everything has to come together at the right time."
Simpson started near the middle of the pack for the first 400 meters, but slipped near the back on the inside lane. At the bell, Simpson was in seventh but began to work her way back to the leaders. With 200 meters to go, she moved out to lane two and started her push. Coming down the homestretch, she moved into third, then second and finally into first, distancing herself by two-tenths of a second over Great Britain's Hannah England, who finished second. Simpson recorded a time of 3:05.40 in her winning performance.
Simpson's victory came during a 32-minute span that saw the U.S. capture two gold medals and post an American record. In addition to Simpson becoming the first American woman since 1983 to win gold in the 1500-meter run, Jesse Williams ended a 20-year American drought in the high jump by winning gold and LaShinda Demus set an American record in the 400-meter hurdles.