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Heather Hennessy facts for kids

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Heather Hennessy is an American author, media personality, inspirational speaker, and former Fox Sports broadcaster. She was an 800-meter national champion and aspiring Olympic athlete before a spine injury forced her off the track. She was married to J.P. Howell, an American professional baseball pitcher.

Athletic career

In 2000, at age 17, Heather Hennessy was America's fastest female 800-meter runner, winning the national championship with a record-setting time of 2:08.84. She finished the 800-meter race with a time of 2:07:73, finishing in second place behind Neisha Bernard-Thomas, an exchange student from Granada. Hennessy is a member of Los Gatos High School Athletic Hall of Fame. She is the only girl to win a national championship in Los Gatos track and field history. Hennessy was top-seeded at the Foot Locker Outdoor Championship in North Carolina in 2000.

Hennessy won an athletic scholarship to the University of Southern California. While on the Los Gatos High School cross country team's annual training trip in Lake Tahoe in 2000, Hennessy jumped off a 50-foot cliff into the water as part of the team's traditional celebratory antics. The impact shattered her spine. She was airlifted to a hospital and diagnosed with compression fractures in her neck and back. She spent four months in a body cast. USC honored her scholarship, despite her injury.

In 2014, Hennessy returned to running, completing the Los Angeles Half Marathon to raise awareness of human trafficking. Supporting Run for Hope, Hennessy ran for two Southern California shelters.

Fox Sports broadcasting career

Heather Hennessy was a reporter on Fox Sports, including national programs Fox Major League Baseball, College BCS Ratings, and Final Score Extra. Notable interviews included Francisco Rodriguez and Chipper Jones.


In 2011, Heather Hennessy wrote the children's book, The Adventures of Dangles, with an anti-bullying theme, under her married name, Heather Hennessy-Howell.</ref>

Media personality

Heather Hennessy is featured in Tom Cronin and Jacqui Fifer's documentary, The Portal, about how meditation can change the world. It showcased at Dances With Films festival in Los Angeles in June 2019. The book that accompanies the movie, also called The Portal, has been published in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Germany, and Turkey.

Personal life

Hennessy trained with Olympic skater Peggy Fleming, whom she met in Los Gatos when Hennessy was 16.

In 2009, she married J.P. Howell, an American professional baseball pitcher who played for the Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Dodgers, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and Toronto Blue Jays. The two met as freshmen at the University of Southern California. Together they founded the nonprofit Discover Your Path Foundation to help kids. Hennessy filed for divorce on August 8, 2016 citing irreconcilable differences. The couple divorced in 2019.

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