Horace Ashenfelter

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameHorace•Ashenfelter, III
Used nameHorace•Ashenfelter
Born23 January 1923 in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania (USA)
Died6 January 2018 in West Orange, New Jersey (USA)
Measurements178 cm / 66 kg
AffiliationsNYAC, New York (USA)
NOC United States


Nip Ashenfelter won his first AAU title when he took the 10,000 m in 1950. The following day he ran his first steeplechase and finished fifth. He won the AAU steeplechase in 1951 and at the 1952 Olympic Trials ran 9:06.4 to better Harold Manning’s 16-year-old U.S. record. Ashenfelter further improved the record to 8:51.0 in the Olympic heats in Helsinki; in a classic Olympic final he defeated the much-vaunted Russian, Vladimir Kazantsev, and posted a new world record of 8:45.4. In the 1955 Pan American Games Ashenfelter won a silver medal when he finished second to Osvaldo Suárez in the 5000 metres. Ashenfelter competed again at Melbourne but could do no better than sixth in a heat of the steeplechase. During a long career, he won three AAU outdoor titles, was the indoor two mile champion for five successive years (1952-56) and over the same five-year period he led the New York AC to victory in the cross-country team event. In three of those years (1954-56), he also won the individual cross-country. After leaving Penn State, Ashenfelter joined the FBI in November 1951, but when he retired from competition after the 1956 Olympics, he also resigned from the Bureau and took a post in business, as a salesman for various metallurgy firms.

Personal Best: 3000S – 8:45.68 (1952).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1952 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Horace Ashenfelter
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
1956 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Horace Ashenfelter
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men (Olympic) 6 h1 r1/2

Olympic family relations

Special Notes