by Vanessa Junkin April 3, 2019 at 5:02 pm 0

Jackie Gruendel catches her breath after the mile at the Patriot Games. Photo: Phil Bond

It’s been more than two decades since Jackie Gruendel was in college, but the 44-year-old runner still competes — and excels — at college meets.

Gruendel, who lives in Clifton, is able to participate in meets as an unattached runner, and she ran 5:17.51 to place fifth in the women’s mile at the George Mason Patriot Games in January.

“I literally get on the line and I could, no joke, be these girls’ moms,” Gruendel said.

She said she’s slowed down some since she ran as a student-athlete at the University of Michigan, but she feels like her post-collegiate running career has been better than her college one.



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