Chris Solinsky

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Chris Solinsky
Solinsky winning the 5000 meters at the 2006 NCAA Championships
Personal information
Nationality American
Born (1984-12-05) December 5, 1984 (age 31)
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight 165 lb (75 kg)
Sport Track, Long-distance running
Event(s) 5000 m, 10,000 m
College team University of Wisconsin-Madison
Club Bowerman Track Club
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) 1500 meters: 3:35.89[1]
Indoor Mile: 3:54.52[2]
3000 meters: 7:34.32[1]
2-mile: 8:15.77[1]
5000 meters: 12:55.53[1]
10,000 meters: 26:59.60[1]
Updated on 30 November 2014.

Chris Solinsky (born December 5, 1984) is a retired American distance runner. Among his more notable achievements, he won eight state championships in high school and five NCAA Division I championships at the University of Wisconsin. He was the American 10,000 meters record holder with a time of 26:59.60 as well as the first non-African to break the 27-minute barrier in the 10,000 m.

Running career[edit]

High school[edit]

Solinsky was born in Junction City, Wisconsin and he attended high school at Stevens Point Area Senior High (SPASH). Solinsky dominated the competition after his freshman year, winning the state cross country title three times. He won 11 state medals, eight state titles, led the nation in time on six different occasions, and earned four 1st Team All-American awards. He broke Wisconsin high school state records in the indoor 1600 m, the indoor 2-mile, and the outdoor 3200 m. He also broke state meet records in cross country and the outdoor 3200 m. He is the 2nd athlete in Wisconsin state history to ever win 3 straight 3200 meter championships (Ben Porter is the first). As a Junior Chris finished Runner up to Bobby Lockhart from Virginia in both the Nike Indoor Championships 2 Mile and the Adidas Outdoor Classic 2 Mile Championships. His winning time of 14:41 at the 2002 Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships gave him a 21-second winning margin,[3] the largest margin of victory in the history of the meet. He finished his high school career with personal records of 4:03.80 (1600 m) and 8:43.24 (3200 m).


Solinsky chose the University of Wisconsin–Madison after graduating from high school in the spring of 2003. There, training under coach Jerry Schumacher, he continued to improve as a national-class runner. The Badgers were undefeated in Big Ten championships during Solinsky's career, sweeping the 2003-2007 cross country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field titles. Wisconsin also won two NCAA team titles during those years (2005 cross country, 2007 indoor track and field), and finished as national runner-up three times (cross country 2003, 2004, 2006). As an individual, Solinsky earned four Big Ten individual titles, 14 All American accolades, and five individual national titles (2005 and 2006 indoor 3000 m, 2007 indoor 5000 m, 2006 and 2007 outdoor 5000 m).[4] He also formerly held the Wisconsin school record in the indoor 3000 m and currently holds the record in the outdoor mile.

At the Badger Twilight Meet on May 6, 2006 (52 years to the day after Roger Bannister broke the barrier for the first time), Solinsky and four other athletes ran a 1-mile race at the Dan McClimon track. Former Badger Matt Tegenkamp finished first in 3:56.58 and Solinsky finished second in 3:57.80, both becoming the first to dip under four minutes on Wisconsin soil.[5]

Solinsky graduated from Wisconsin in December 2007 with Bachelor of Arts degrees in history and sociology.

signed a contract with Nike and KIMbia Athletics. Until January 2009, he continued to live and train in Madison, Wisconsin under coach Schthen, Schumacher and his athletes have moved to Portland, Oregon and have become part of the Oregon Track club. Matt Tegenkamp continues to be his training partner. Solinsky failed to qualify for the 2008 Summer Olympics in the 5000 meter run, leading most of the Olympic Trials' last 1000 m but faltering down the final stretch.

Solinsky qualified for the 2009 World Championships in Berlin with a second place finish at the U.S. Championship. At the 2009 World Championships in Athletics in Berlin, Solinsky finished in 12th place with a time of 13:25.87.

On May 1, 2010, Solinsky debuted in the 10,000 meters at the Payton Jordan Invitational at Stanford University, setting the American Record in the process by fourteen seconds (bettering Meb Keflezighi's 2001 mark of 27:13.98) to run 26:59.60.[6] The mark also surpassed Arturo Barrios's North American area record of 27:08.23. He was the first non-African to break the 27-minute barrier for the 10000 meters.[7] The 6'1", 165-pound Solinsky is also the first man over 6 feet and over 141 pounds to break the 27-minute barrier.[8]

On June 4, 2010, Solinsky improved his personal best in the 5000 meters, breaking the 13 minute barrier by running 12:56.66 at the Bislett Games. The mark was just .39 behind the standing American and North American record held by Dathan Ritzenhein; however, Bernard Lagat improved upon both records by running 12:54.12 in the same race.[9] Two months later, on August 6, 2010, Solinsky further improved his personal best with a 12:55.53 performance in the DN Galan event in Stockholm, making him the second fastest person for the 5000m outdoor track event ever in U.S. history at that time.


On 2014 August 8, College of William and Mary Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Stephen Walsh announced the hiring of former American record-holder and NCAA Champion Chris Solinsky as an assistant coach. Solinsky will work primarily with the distance and middle-distance athletes while also helping with all training and administrative aspects of the Tribe's nationally competitive program.[10][11]


Solinsky is married to Amy Dahlin, who competed in the pole vault at Wisconsin.

Personal bests[edit]

Distance Performance Date
1500 m 3:35.89 April 15, 2011
Mile 3:54.1 September 20, 2008
3000 m 7:34.32 August 29, 2010
5000 m 12:55.53 August 6, 2010
10,000 m 26:59.60 May 1, 2010


  • 2006 Big Ten Indoor Track Athlete Of The Year
  • 2006 Big Ten Outdoor Track Athlete Of The Year
  • 2007 Big Ten Indoor Track Athlete Of The Year
  • 2007 USTFCCCA National Indoor Track Athlete Of The Year



External links[edit]

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