American Jenny Barringer Simpson took an upset victory in the women's 1500 meters at the world track and field championships on Thursday, notching the first U.S. world title in that event—or in any other distance race—since 1983. In a physical, tactical final that saw Simpson's U.S. teammate and prohibitive favorite Morgan Uceny fall, Simpson trailed the frontrunners through three laps before moving decisively to the outside with 100 meters to go, beating Great Britain's Hannah England to the line by .28 seconds in 4:05.40. Simpson is a 2009 graduate of the University of Colorado, where she was a four-time national champion and became the first-ever U.S. collegian to run under four minutes for 1,500 meters. But in 2010, after three years of running the steeplechase in international competition, she struggled with injury, failing to run a personal best and finishing a underwhelming third in the 5,000 meters at the U.S. championships. Her win on Thursday came during a highly successful half-hour window for the United States, as U.S. sprinter Lashinda Demus won gold in the 400 hurdles and Jesse Williams took an unexpected victory in the high jump.
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(Photo of Jenny Simpson by Victah Sailor/ PhotoRun.net)