We ran this Pic and Quote 2 years ago this month, but recently our friend, Mr. Camp Foss Kevin Maloney shared his first hand account of the 1992 World XC Championships in Boston as he was a volunteer at the finish line! With the weather today, we thought it was the perfect time for the addition!
By Kevin Maloney
I was there (1992 IAAF World Cross Country Championships) and was working the finish line, and I was the first person to greet each finisher as they crossed the line and entered the chute. For me the biggest thrill that day was watching Lynn Jennings come running right to me to win her third straight world championship on the very course she won State high school championships as a high schooler from The Bromfield School in Harvard, MA Back in those days Bromfield was part of our league, which meant her team competed against mine, so my boys ran against her because Bromfield did not have a separate girl’s team in the mid and late 70’s. Lynn ran on the boy’s team and was their #1 runner in 1976 and 1977. She was something else. During her senior year in high school she ran a 4:38 indoor mile and had a PR in the low 10’s for the two mile, so she could beat most boys!
With the World Championships in Boston in ’92 most of us coaches on the MA State Track Coaches Executive Board volunteered to work the meet and my job wound up being at the head of the finish chute a few strides after the finish line. It was a cold, snow covered course, but there were still some African runners in the various races (senior m/f races and junior m/f races) who ran barefoot, and I remember seeing blood on the white snow as they finished up. But it was watching Lynn, who I had gotten to know since her high school days, who was the story of the day. She was nervous going into this race because it was on her “home” course and she was going for a 3rd straight world title. She was the #1 XC runner in the world, and wound up winning the US National XC title nine (9) times, which I believe still is the most by any American runner, ever. Obviously she was ready in ’92 and indeed made history.
The finish line was set-up inside of White Stadium in Franklin Park. When Lynn entered the stadium she still had Catherine McKiernan of Ireland and Albertina Dias of Portugal with her, but in that final sprint across the snow covered infield Lynn unleashed her tremendous kick and pulled away for probably her greatest victory in her unbelievable cross-country career. It was quite a treat for me to watch a runner, who I had hosted on our high school home course in the 70’s, and recorded her time in those dual meets, win the World Championship for the third time in-a-row. About some 30 minutes after the race was done and everyone was milling around, I had the chance to congratulate John Babinton, Lynn’s Liberty AC coach. John told me Lynn was thrilled with her achievement and mentioned how much it meant to her winning it in Boston, when Lynn came jogging over to where we were standing. Much to my surprise when she got to us, because Lynn is a bit reserved in her personal life, she gave me a big hug and said, “Thanks coach for being here today.” For me, as a coach and a fan of our great sport, that moment just made the day even more special.
Over the years I tried several times to get Lynn to come to Foss as a guest speaker, but every time I’d try she would say that due to her racing schedule she was in Europe at the big meets every August. But she would always say, some day I’ll be there. Well she was true to her word and came to Foss in 2012 and 2013. And during that first year in particular, when she spoke about her career, showed some videos of some of her biggest races, and shared her thoughts on training and competing. We were all mesmerized by this great champion. She even passed around her Olympic Bronze medal she won at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics in the 10k, and let every kid in camp hold it.
It was a special night for all of us. Both Mike Clark and Artie Demers, two NH Hall of Fame coaches and Foss staff members for 25 years, like everyone else there that evening were spell bound by her presentation You could here a pin drop in the lodge with over 270+ runners listening to the greatest XC runner this country has ever produced. That was arguably the most special evening we’ve ever had at Foss, and given how many other great runners and coaches we’ve had at Foss over the years, that’s saying something!
Inspired by the weather conditions this past weekend and how strong the New Hampshire Cross Country Athletes and Community faced them, this quote by Bill Bowerman was recommended! We chose the photos to show, other weather conditions could be even more challenging!
Feature Pic Above and to the right
WHO: (Photo Above) Left to Right: Catherine McKiernan (Ireland, 21:18, 2nd), Susan Sirma (Kenya, 21:40, 9th), Albertina Dias (Portugal, 21:19, 3rd), Lynn Jennings (USA, 21:16, 1st),
(Photo to the Right) Mark Coogan (USA, 38:09, 34th and current coach of New Balance Boston)
WHEN: March 21, 1992
WHERE: Franklin Park – – Boston, Massachusetts
WHAT: 20th IAAF World Cross Country Championships
Editor’s Note: Due to the graciousness of Jeff Johnson, John Goegel and others, we are carrying over a series begun during the track season on our sister site, newhampshiretrackandfield.com . For those of you that don’t know, Jeff Johnson was employee #1 of Nike. He actually is the one responsible for naming the company. Fortunately for us, he was also a world class photographer of our great sports in the 1960s and 1970s during which he captured thousands of sports photographs. We are honored and thankful for their choice to use our sites as their medium for sharing their passion. We hope our presentations can do them justice!
Photos by Jeff Johnson
If you are interested in a poster version of a photo from this series, they are available for a small charge. Contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org