There will be no repeat Olympic medal for Jenny Simpson.
The former Colorado track and cross country star fell short in her bid to represent the United States once again in the 1,500 meter run at next month’s Olympics, finishing 10th in the event’s final round on Monday at the US Track and Field Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon.
Simpson finished in 4 minutes, 7.76 seconds but was well behind the pace set by the winner, Elle Purrier St. Pierre (3:58.03). Former Buffs runner Dani Jones, winner of the 2018 NCAA cross country national championship, posted a time of 4:06.46 and finished ninth.
At the Rio Games in 2016, Simpson became the first American woman to earn a medal in the 1,500, placing third. Simpson posted the top time in the first round at the Trials on Friday (4:11.34) and followed with a mark of 4:09.92 in the semifinals on Saturday. Next month’s Tokyo Games will be the first Olympics without Simpson since 2004, before her Buffs career even began. She finished eighth in the steeplechase at the 2008 Olympics and competed in the 1,500 at the 2012 Games.
Two other former Buffs, Carrie Verdon and Maddie Alm, also came up short in their Olympic bids in the 5,000-meter run, but it nonetheless was a memorable event for another former local star. Niwot High and Stanford alum Elise Cranny surged down the stretch to punch her ticket to Tokyo with a first-place finish, posting a time of 15:27.81.
Verdon finished 10th (15:54.04) and Alm placed 12th (15:58.40).
Cranny will be joined in Tokyo by another former local standout and Stanford alum in Valarie Allman. The Silver Creek graduate set an Olympics Trials record in the discus (69.92 meters) on Saturday.