|Competitor for the United States|
|Bronze||1992 Barcelona||10,000 metres|
|World Cross Country Championships|
|Gold||1990 Aix-les-Bains||Women's race|
|Gold||1991 Antwerp||Women's race|
|Gold||1992 Boston||Women's race|
Lynn Jennings (born July 1, 1960 in Princeton, New Jersey) 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 became the first American woman to win an Olympic long-distance track medal when she won the bronze at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. She set a world indoor record in the 5000 meter run in 1990. Her American road-race record for 10 km (31:06) still stands.
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.
Jennings attended the Bromfield high school in Harvard, Massachusetts. She ran on the boys' cross country team, as there was no girls' team at the time. Her years as a high school state champion in cross country are reminiscent of an early scene in the film Without Limits, about Steve Prefontaine, in which Prefontaine shoots out to a determined lead very early in a high school race and is good enough to keep the lead to the finish. 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 '. Graduating in Harvard, MA, in 1978, she left behind countless records, including the national high school indoor 1500-meters run.
Jennings attended Princeton University. Despite numerous college running titles, she left the university "unsatisified" with her performance. She failed to qualify for the 1984 Olympics, 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. She later ran for Nike's Athletics West team.
- Circuit wins
- Tufts Health Plan 10K: 1977, 1989–1993
- Cinque Mulini (XC): 1986, 1987
- Pittsburgh Great Race: 1986
- Freihofer's Run for Women: 1987, 1988, 1990, 1993–1996, 1998
- Charlotte Observer 10K: 1987, 1988, 1992
- Peachtree Road Race: 1987
- Gate River Run: 1988, 1996, 1997, 1999
- Falmouth Road Race: 1992
- Bay to Breakers: 1993
- Tulsa Run: 1993
- Crim Festival of Races: 1993
- Manchester Road Race: 1994
- Feaster Five Road Race: 1996, 1997
- Valmon, Meredith Rainey (2007). "Lynn Jennings". Ivy Women in Sports.
- Peter Tucci (6 December 2006). "The Top 20 Greatest Athletes - No. 6: Lynn Jennings '83". The Daily Princetonian. Princeton University. Retrieved 21 October 2012.