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Catching Up With ... Jennifer Hartshorn, Lexington High/Colby College track

Jennifer Hartshorn is in her 11th season as the head coach of women’s cross-country and track & field at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.Phyllis Graber Jensen/Josh Kuckens

A two-time state indoor champion at 1,000 meters while running for Lexington High in 1989 and 1990, Jennifer Hartshorn is in her 11th season as head coach of women's cross-country and track and field at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.

While running for Colby College — a New England Small College Athletic Conference rival of Bates — Hartshorn qualified for the NCAAs in cross-country and was an indoor and outdoor women's track captain who earned Division 3 All-America honors in the 800- and 1,500-meter events.

Her father, Bob Hartshorn, coached boys' soccer at Lexington High for 23 years, recording 255 victories, and is in the Massachusetts High School Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame.


"I loved watching soccer with my dad when I was little, and he had a unique, fun style of coaching that I definitely inherited,'' said Hartshorn, who in that same spirit took her cross-country team to a water park in Saco, Maine, this preseason.

Hartshorn and her older sister, Heather, celebrated their dad's 78th birthday by giving him tickets for the family to attend the USA-Germany Women's World Cup match June 30 in Montreal.

Heather Hartshorn, executive director of extended day programs in Lexington's elementary schools, was a soccer and track standout at Lexington High and a soccer player at Colby.

"I was a freshman at Colby when Heather was a senior, and we were soccer and track teammates for one season in high school. I looked up to her growing up, and we've become even closer over the years,'' said Hartshorn, 43, who is married to Andy Walter, the director of sports information at Bates.

They met while Walter was working for the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton and Hartshorn was earning her master's degree in exercise and sports studies and coaching at Smith College from 1999 to 2001.


They reside in Auburn, Maine, with their 7-year-old son, Henry.

After graduating from Colby in December 1994 with a degree in government, Hartshorn coached track at Littleton High, Lincoln-Sudbury Regional, and Colby before moving on to Division 1 Syracuse University, where she was top assistant for the men's and women's track-and-field program.

"Andy worked for the Auburn Citizen while I was at Syracuse and we were married 11 years ago,'' she said .

Hartshorn, who runs recreationally with friends, said she received great coaching at Lexington High from Art Dulong, a star distance runner at Randolph High and College of the Holy Cross.

"I always liked to work out and I was a pretty steady runner in high school, " she said, "but what really brought out my best was the competition on our own team and in the Middlesex League.''

Hartshorn, who guided the Bates cross-country team to the NCAA championships in 2012, said she's learned as a coach "you can't control everything. I'm more patient. If someone makes a mistake, it's OK. We all do.''

Marvin Pave can be reached at marvin.pave@rcn.com.