Sophomore Ashley Spencer was named to the preseason USTFCCCA Bowerman Watch List on Thursday morning.
Jan. 10, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- University of Illinois sprinter Ashley Spencer is entering her sophomore season with the Fighting Illini as the defending NCAA 400m champion and a two-time World Junior Champion. On Thursday morning she was named to the initial 2013 Bowerman Watch List by the USTFCCCA, making the list of 10 athletes to keep an eye on during the 2013 indoor and outdoor seasons. The Bowerman is considered the Heisman Trophy of track and field and has been awarded to the top male and female athletes in NCAA track and field since its introduction in 2009.
Last season, Spencer spent most of the later half of the year on the Watch List and was then a semifinalist for the award in mid-June. She was the second Illini to appear on the watch list as Angela Bizzarri was in 2010. The USTFCCCA will update the list throughout the year with the finalists announced this summer.
Spencer is coming off an incredible freshman year after being a two-time IAAF World Junior Champion, winning a national title in the 400m, six Big Ten titles and breaking six school records. The 2012 Big Ten Freshman of the Year will be on a quest to defend her national title, an event she was undefeated in during the 2012 season.
The Fighting Illini hosts its 2013 indoor track and field season opener Saturday with the Illini Open inside the UI Armory.
2013 Bowerman Watch List - Jan. 10
Brigetta Barrett, SR, Arizona, High Jump
Tia Brooks, R-SR, Oklahoma, Throws
Diamond Dixon, JR, Kansas, Sprints
Kimberlyn Duncan, SR, LSU, Sprints
Katie Flood, JR, Washington, Distance
English Gardner, JR, Oregon, Sprints
Georganne Moline, SR, Arizona, Hurdles
Betsy Saina, R-SR, Iowa State, Distance
Brittany Smith, SR, Illinois State, Throws
Ashley Spencer, SO, Illinois, Sprints