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Shelby Houlihan

Shelby Houlihan

American middle- and long-distance runner
Shelby Houlihan
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American middle- and long-distance runner
Is Athlete
From United States of America
Type Sports
Gender female
Birth 8 February 1993, Sioux City, Woodbury County, Iowa, USA
Age 28 years
Star sign Aquarius
Residence Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, USA
Height: 160 cm
Arizona State University
East High School
The details (from wikipedia)


Shelby Houlihan (born February 8, 1993) is an American middle distance runner. A 12-time All-American at Arizona State University, she was the NCAA 1500m champion in 2014 and made the final in the 5000m at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Houlihan is the American record holder at both 1500 meters and 5000 meters.


Shelby Houlihan was born in Sioux City, Iowa. Her mother and uncle were both competitive runners, as well as her half-sister.

Houlihan resides in Portland, Oregon.

High school

Houlihan attended East High School in Sioux City. She held high school personal records of 4:43.64 in the one mile run, 2:07.35 in the 800 meter run, and 4:26.39 in the 1500 meter run. She was the 2011 Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year awards Girls Track and Field Runner of the Year and the 2010 Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year awards Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year. She claimed eight Drake Relays crowns, while also earning the title of Drake Relays Outstanding Female High School Performer for being the first female athlete from a high school to win three events in one year. Houlihan graduated from East in 2011.


Houlihan attended Arizona State University for college. She was the 2014 NCAA champion in the 1500 meters at Arizona State University as a junior. She was the first student at Arizona State University to win a national individual title in the outdoor 1,500.

Houlihan was a 12-time NCAA Division I All-American, the second most in Arizona State history, and a NCAA Track champion. She holds Arizona State Sun Devils school records in the 800 meters, 1500 meters, one mile, and 3000 meters.


Houlihan began competing for Nike and the Bowerman Track Club under coach Jerry Schumacher in 2015. She was among seven women who were trained by Schumacher who made it to the Olympics. Houlihan said of her teammates, "After watching all of my teammates make the team, I knew that I could do the same. The prelim felt very easy and gave me a lot of confidence going into the final. I thought the final would most likely be much faster, but I knew I was fit and capable of handling a fast pace." She also stated, "It's just amazing to have teammates be able to push me everyday. It's something I've never had before. Even that has put me above and beyond what I've done before. Obviously I made the right decision for me."

2014 NACAC

Houlihan qualified for the 2014 North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association Championship in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada where Houlihan won gold in the 800 meters in 2:03.00 ahead of Rachel Francois and Jenna Westaway.

2016 Olympics

Houlihan qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics in the women's 5000 meters after finishing second in the US trials to Molly Huddle. When she finished the race, Houlihan cried. Houlihan said of the moment, "I've been working for that moment my entire life and for it all to come together and happen was one of the most amazing experiences of my life".

Houlihan placed fourth in her heat in the 5000 m preliminary at the Olympics, qualifying her for the final. Houlihan placed 11th in the 5000m final with a time of 15:08.89, finishing as the highest-placing American. After the race, she said, "“I didn’t place as high as I wanted to, and I’ve got to take that as a learning step and just try to move forward and make me stronger. I wouldn’t have guessed I’d be doing the 5K this year. Ideally I’d like to stick with it. Once I get the (mileage) volume up and get more aerobically strong, I’m going to be even more of a threat. I’m excited to see where that could take me.”

Houlihan's hometown minor league hockey team, the Sioux City Musketeers, honored her after the Olympics with an ovation and ceremonial first puck.

Late 2016 season

Houlihan placed 6th in 4:23.0 at the 2016 Fifth Avenue Mile.


Houlihan qualified for the London 2017 World Championships in the women's 5000 meters after winning the 5000 meters at the 2017 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Houlihan ran 15:00.37 to place 3rd in the prelims, and ran 15:06.40 to place 13th in the final.


At the 2018 World Indoor Championships, making up more than 10 meters on the final lap, Houlihan pipped Fantu Worku to place 5th (8:50.38) in the 3000 meters final and 4th in 4:11.93 at the 1500 meters final for the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships after winning the 3000 meters (9:00.08) and the 1500 meters (4:13.07) titles at the 2018 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

On July 21, 2018, Houlihan ran the 5000 m in 14:34.45 in Heusden, Belgium. Assisted by pacer Shalane Flanagan, Houlihan broke Shannon Rowbury's 2016 American record of 14:38.92.

Houlihan placed second in the 1500 m at the 2018 IAAF Continental Cup.


At the 2019 World Outdoor Championships, Houlihan set a personal best and new American record of 3:54.99 in the final of the 1500m, finishing in 4th place.


On July 10, at the Bowerman Track Club time trial, Houlihan broke her own 5000m America record in a time of 14:23.92, just ahead of teammate Karissa Schweizer in 14:26.34.

Championship results

US National Championship Event Venue Place Time
2019 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships 5000m Des Moines, Iowa 1st 15:31.03
1500 m 1st 4:05.48
2019 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships 2 Mile Ocean Breeze, New York 1st 9:31.38
1 Mile 2nd 4:29.92
2019 USA Cross Country Championships 10 km Tallahassee, Florida 1st 32:47
2018 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships 3000m Albuquerque, New Mexico 1st 9:00.08
1500 m 1st 4:13.07
2017 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships 5000 m Sacramento, California 1st 15:13.87
2017 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships 1 Mile Albuquerque, New Mexico 1st 4:45.18
2 Mile 1st 10:19.14
2016 United States Olympic Trials (track and field) 5000 meters Eugene, Oregon 2nd 15:06.14
2016 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships 3000 meters Portland, Oregon 5th 9:01.11
2015 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships 1500 meters Eugene, Oregon 10th 4:17.15
2014 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships 800 meters Sacramento, California 7th 2:01.12
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 18 Aug 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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