Jenny Simpson – 2016
Jenny Simpson had a stellar 2016 season. Her most notable achievement was earning a bronze medal in the 1,500-meter run at the Olympic Games in Rio. She became the first American woman to ever medal in the event. Simpson was sixth entering the final lap (400-meters) and really kicked it into high gear, picking off three runners to medal and came extremely close to placing second. Earlier in the season, Simpson won the 1,500-meter title at the U.S. Olympic Trials to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic roster.
Simpson, one of the most decorated female runners in U.S. history and one of the most accomplished CU runners ever, was competing in her third Olympics. She was ninth in the steeplechase in Beijing in 2008 and advanced to the semifinals of the 1,500 in 2012 in London. She also won the World Championships gold medal in the 1,500 in 2011 and was the silver medalist in the event in 2013. She was also the 2014 Diamond League champion in the 1,500 in 2014. Her personal best of 3:57.22 is still the second fastest in American history.