Olympic Legends of Minnesota: Ben Blankenship

Minnesota has had many illustrious cross country and track & field athletes throughout history. Some have been forgotten, and some are still competing, but one thing they all have in common? Being some of the greatest athletes this state has ever seen.

To qualify for this series the athlete has to have competed in high school track and/or cross country in Minnesota for at least one year, and competed in an Olympic event. In all there were 21 athletes that qualified for our series.

Ben Blankenship / Stillwater High School (Stillwater, MN) 2007 Graduate

9th Mn All-Time, 1600m 4:09.10

36th MN All-Time, 3200m 9:08.35

98th MN All-Time, 800m 1:54.58

Two-time Class AA 1600m MN State Champion (2006 & 2007)


Professional Personal Bests:

800m - 1:48.40 (2011)

1500m - 3:34.26 (2016)

1600m - 3:52.51 (2019)

5k - 13:56 (2014)

10K - 30:11 (2018)


Blankenship has been a standout runner at every stop of his career, from Stillwater High School to the University of Minnesota and beyond to the Olympics. After getting his start at Minnesota running powerhouse Stillwater where he won two state titles in the 1600m he went onto the University of Minnesota where he became the first Gopher to break the 4 minute mile mark.

Since he has graduated from the University of Minnesota his career has grown to new heights. He has been a part of a world record setting distance medley relay, ran in the 1500m finals at the 2016 summer Olympics and has won 2018 USATF National Club Cross Country Championships individual title.

Still only 31 years old Blankenship has plenty of time left in his career to add more national titles, go to more Olympics and set plenty more records.