“I think I’m gonna cry! I’ve been training so hard and my team has been so supportive. I wanna dedicate this on Valentine’s Day, my love to my team…for putting up with me!”
Jenny Barringer was beside herself after set her second NCAA record Saturday evening at the Husky Invite on the 300m University of Washington indoor track. Her time of 15:01.70 for 5000m not only demolished the old NCAA record of 15:14.18 held by Kim Smith of Providence but also would have been an American Record before last week, when Shalane Flanagan lowered that mark from 15:07.33 to 14:47.52 at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games. Steeplechic Olympian Barringer also holds the NCAA record in the 3000m Steeplechase, in 9:29.20.
“We had discussed going 15:20 and hopefully being able to kick hard to 15:14 to challenge the collegiate record,” Barringer explained. “It was fun and exciting to do and took me overruling some of the splits. It was for the best since I was able to hang on and run a good time. This was a mark we would have had our eyes on in a few years and to get it now says a lot about the decision to sit out and redshirt the cross country season. I really needed some time to put in some miles and we’re seeing the pay off now.”
Barringer red-shirted this fall’s cross-country season after returning home from Beijing, where she had made the final and placed 9th in the 3000m Steeplechase, setting a new American Record in the event in 9:22.26. It had been a long season and a long year, starting with the NCAA cross-country season in the fall of 2007, continuing with indoor and outdoor NCAA track seasons in the winter and spring, and finishing with the summer, which included the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, a race or two in Europe and finally, the Olympic Games.
Barringer is an impressive athlete for many reasons, but one that stands out is her strength. Few athletes could complete the year she had with a PR performance at the final competition. This is a testament to excellent coaching and support, a resilient body and a mature person. Stepping back from competition this fall was a well-deserved break, but it is quite obvious she did not spend it sitting on her laurels and basking in the great success she has achieved before even graduating from college. She is back on the track and more ready than ever to continue her steady improvement towards the top, where we will soon see her challenge the very best in the world.
Watch Barringer’s Interview Post-Race at UW: