Ashley Spencer won the 400m title at the USA Junior Outdoor Championships to qualify for the American team at the IAAF World Junior Championship next month.
June 17, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Just two weeks after winning Illinois' first-ever 400m NCAA title, freshman Ashley Spencer continued her success as she won the event crown at the USA Junior Outdoor Championships. Spencer qualified to compete for the American team at the IAAF World Junior Championships next month in Barcelona, Spain from July 10-July 15.
"Ashley (Spencer) ran very well today," head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. "She was still a little tired from running three hard races last weekend at NCAA's and was not used to having two hard weekends back-to-back. This is a part of the learning process and now being able to get a chance to get international experience in Barcelona will be great for her."
Yesterday in the prelims, Spencer won the first heat with a time of 52.84 to take the second-fastest time overall heading into the finals. The freshman won the event with a time of 51.68 which is her fourth-fastest mark this season. Erika Rucker of South Carolina will also join Spencer in Barcelona as she finished second overall with a time of 52.27. Spencer is also eligible to represent the USA on the 4x400 relay.
In the distance races, all three Illini (Chloe Schmidt, Alyssa Schneider and Britten Petrey) made the finals in their respective events. Schmidt finished sixth in the 800m with a time of 2:11.06, her third-best this season while Schneider placed 12th in the 1,500m with a mark of 4:36.97. In the 3,000m steeplechase, Petrey finished 12th with a time of 11:34.45.
400m Final Results at USA Junior Outdoor Championships
1. Ashley Spencer, Illinois - 51.68
2. Erika Rucker, South Carolina - 52.27
3. Kendall Baisden, Unattached - 52.60
4. Kiara Porter, Unattached - 53.07
5. Felicia Brown, Sprint Athletics - 53.11
6. Jordan Lavender, Virginia - 53.46
7. Robin Reynolds, Miami North - 53.87
8. Akawkaw Ncha Ndipagbor, USC - 54.17