Ashenfelter 8K Classic
Ashenfelter 8K Classic    

Horace Ashenfelter


"There are few distance runners who
are born great. You have to work
very hard very often."

— Horace Ashenfelter,
8:45 Steepler,
1952 Olympic Champion,
WR Holder

Horace Ashenfelter, the Olympic Gold Medalist that the race is named after, was one of America's premier distance runners during the 1950s, winning 17 national championships at a variety of distances. But his most remarkable achievement was winning the gold medal in the 1952 Olympic 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Ashenfelter was the first American since James Lightbody in 1904 to win the Olympic steeplechase beating the favorite, Vladimir Kazantsev of the Soviet Union. Horace Ashenfelter also won the 1952 Sullivan Award as the nation's outstanding amateur athlete.

Ashenfelter served in World War II and then attended Penn State. He won the NCAA 2-mile run in 1949, the IC4A outdoor 2-mile in 1948 and 1949, and the IC4A indoor 2-mile in 1948. He was also AAU national champion in cross-country, 1951, 1955 and 1956; the steeplechase, 1951, 1953, and 1956; the 3-mile run, 1954 and 1955; the 6-mile, 1950; and the indoor 3-mile, 1952 through 1956.
(Source: Hickok Sports,

Horace Ashenfelter inducted into the
Sports Hall of Fame of New Jersey Class of 1998


(Inducted May 14, 1998)
Olympic Gold Medal in 3000-meter steeplechase, 1952. Only American to hold world record in steeplechase. Won Sullivan Award, 1952. Won Eight AAU National Titles at three different distances, cross country, steeplechase, and 10,000 meter. Five-time U.S. Indoor 3-Mile Champion, 1952-1956. NCAA 2-Mile National Champion, 1949. Elected to U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame, 1975. Resident of Glen Ridge.

From left to right: Horace Ashenfelter, Pete Carril, Leonard Coleman, Leon Day (represented by Geraldine Day), Anne Donovan (represented by Rose Battaglia), Sid Dorfman, Ron Johnson, John Henry "Pop" Lloyd (represented by Max Manning). Not represented: 1946 Newark Eagles Baseball Team.

Other Links For more information
on Horace Ashenfelter:

  Horace Ashenfelter III Penn State Class of 1949

Indoor Track Dedicated To Olympic Star

Understanding the Legacy

Olympics: Glen Ridge's Ashenfelter shocked Russian 50 years ago

Former Penn State Olympians reminisce about 'old days'

July marks 50th anniversary of alum's gold medal win