Mike Leary, a longtime Florida photographer (and father of stellar Florida high school runner Ryder Leary), sent us some of his favorite photos he shot during the high school and college career of local celebrity Jenny (Barringer) Simpson who recently made history becoming the first woman to medal in the 1,500m at the Olympic Games, when she earned the bronze medal on Tuesday night in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
So without further ado... Jenny Barringer's high school and college career in a three and a half minute video slideshow.
Simpson (Barringer) graduated from Oviedo High in 2005 with eight Florida high school state championships. She won cross country championships in 2002, 2003, and 2004, 3,200 titles in 2004 and 2005, and was victorious in the 1,600m in 2003, 2004, and 2005.
Afterr high school she attended the University of Colorado where she earned NCAA championships in the 3000 Meter Steeplechase, an event which she has set the American Record (a couple of times) and qualified for the Olympics in 2008. She won the Bowerman Award her senior track season at Colorado, the equivalent of the Heisman for track & field.
After her graduation, she signed a professional contract with New Balance and has since transitioned from a steeplechaser (the event she made her first Olympics in) into being a 1500 meter specialist, a move that paid off winning the IAAF World Championship at that event in 2011, making the 2012 Olympic team, finishing third at the World Championships in 2013, and most recently capturing bronze in 2016.