Warriors News · Kennedy Named to North Athletic HOF



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Tuesday, December 4, 2019

The walls of Westerville North High School’s commons are adorned with student athletes and teams who were named all-Ohio by the media, earned top state honors as an individual athlete, or made it to state as a team. However, since its opening in 1975, the school has never had an official athletic hall of fame. On January 18, 2019, that all changes as former track and cross country star Bob Kennedy becomes the first inductee into the Westerville North Athletics Hall of Fame.

Prior to graduating from Westerville North in the class of 1988, Kennedy amassed numerous records and championships as a member of the Warrior track and cross country programs. In cross country, he was state runner-up as a sophomore in 1985, losing only to teammate Eric Nelson. During his 1986 junior and 1987 senior seasons, Kennedy captured the OHSAA Division One Cross Country State Championship.

Kennedy’s track accomplishments were even more impressive in his time at WNHS. He brought home two state championships during his junior season, winning both the 1600 meter and 3200 meter races. Upon returning to the state meet his senior season, Kennedy not only repeated as 1600 meter state champion, but he also set a 1600 meter state record of 4:05.13. That record that still stands today.

After graduating from Westerville North, Kennedy attended Indiana University (Bloomington) where he won 16 Big Ten track titles. During his 1992 senior season, he became only the second person in NCAA history to win the NCAA Cross Country National Championship and the U.S. National Cross Country Championship in the same year. Kennedy again won the U.S.National Cross Country Championship in 2004, marking the largest gap (12 years) between titles in the history of USATF.

The highlight of Kennedy’s career came during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. As a competitor in the 5000 meter finals, Kennedy surged to the front at the beginning of the penultimate lap and forced the pace. He held the lead for almost a lap, was passed just before the closing lap, and eventually placed 6th. He previously had finished 12th in the 5000 meter finals of the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics. Kennedy held American records in the 3000 meter (1998) and 5000 meter (1996) races during his career as well.

Westerville North High School and its Athletic Department are proud to induct Mr. Bob Kennedy as the first member of the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame. Kennedy will be inducted in a private ceremony in the Warrior Learning Center at Westerville North on Friday, January 18, 2019. He will be honored publicly later that evening, prior the Warrior boys basketball game against Westerville Central.