Paul Jessup (athlete)

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Paul Boulet Jessup (September 23, 1908 - October 27, 1992) was an American discus thrower and shot putter. He set a discus world record in 1930 and was a leading favorite for the 1932 Summer Olympics, but only placed 8th in the Olympic final.


Competing for the University of Washington Huskies, Jessup placed fourth at the 1929 NCAA Championships in both the shot and the discus.[1] He was also the captain of the Washington football team, playing offensive tackle and defensive center.[2][3] Jessup improved further in 1930, setting his personal bests that year.[1] In an early dual meet against Stanford University, he threw the discus 48.23 meters (158 ft 2 78 in) and was only narrowly beaten by Stanford's world record holder Eric Krenz.[4] At the 1930 NCAA Championships Jessup went one better by surprisingly beating Krenz;[5] nevertheless, Krenz was selected by coaches as top All-American ahead of Jessup.[6]

Jessup won his first national championship in the discus in August 1930, beating Krenz's world record in the process with a throw of 51.73 meters (169 ft 7 78 in).[1][7][8] This record lasted until 1934, when it was beaten by Sweden's Harald Andersson.[9] Jessup repeated as national champion in 1931.[1][8]

Jessup showed consistent form in early 1932[10] and was considered the leading favorite for the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles,[2][10][11] as his main rival, Krenz, had drowned in a boating accident in August 1931.[11][12][13] However, 1928 Olympian John Anderson displaced him as the national leader at the Eastern Tryouts.[14] At the final Olympic Trials Jessup placed second, behind Anderson.[14][15] Anderson went on to win the gold medal at the Olympics, while Jessup had an off day, only managing 8th with a throw of 45.25 m (148 ft 4 in).[1][14]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Paul Jessup Bio, Stats and Results". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "See Paul Jessup as Weight Star". Spokane Daily Chronicle. April 13, 1932. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Giant Bed Offered As Football Prize". Lewiston Evening Journal. November 23, 1929. 
  4. ^ "Cards Swamp Huskies In Track Meet, 93-35". Berkeley Daily Gazette. April 28, 1930. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Jessup Beat Krenz". Milwaukee Sentinel. June 9, 1930. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  6. ^ Rockne, Knute (June 22, 1930). "All-America Track, Field Team Named". Milwaukee Sentinel. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  7. ^ Clark, Al (August 24, 1930). "Paul Jessup Hangs Up World Mark in Discus Heave". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Mallon, Bill; Buchanan, Ian; Track & Field News. "A History Of The Results Of The National Track & Field Championships Of The USA From 1876 Through 2011". Track & Field News. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  9. ^ Butler, Mark; IAAF Media & Public Relations Department (2011), IAAF Statistics Handbook Daegu 2011, International Association of Athletics Federations 
  10. ^ a b "If Jessup Breaks Both Arms He May Not Win The Discus". Spokane Daily Chronicle. June 10, 1932. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Gould, Alan (Associated Press) (June 17, 1932). "Sifting Olympic Hopes". The Gettysburg Times. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Eric Krenz, Star Weight Man Drowns". The Pittsburgh Press. August 19, 1931. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Discus Champion Drowning Victim". Spokane Daily Chronicle. August 20, 1931. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b c Hymans, Richard. "The History of the United States Olympic Trials - Track & Field" (PDF). USA Track & Field; Track & Field News. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Three Berkeley Athletes Make Olympic Squad". Berkeley Daily Gazette. July 18, 1932. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
Preceded by
United States Eric Krenz
Men's Discus World Record Holder
23 August 1930 – 25 August 1934
Succeeded by
Sweden Harald Andersson