Sophomore Ashley Spencer earned Big Ten Track Athlete of the week for the second time this season.
April 10, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Illinois women's track and field sophomore Ashley Spencer was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week after her two titles at last weekend's Sun Angel Track Classic, announced the conference office today. This marks the third straight week an Illini has won the award, the first time since 2011 a Big Ten school has earned the honor three consecutive weeks in a row.
"This weekend was especially special for Ashley," head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. "She really wanted to get her 400m hurdles time down and she improved by a second. Within the hour, she also ran her second fastest 200m time. She is in great form right now and I'm really happy that the Big Ten is honoring her for her achievements."
Spencer continued her success in the 400m hurdles as she won her first event of the season in a time of 56.32. The time ranks fifth fastest in the Illinois record books and is the first time an Illini hurdler has cracked the top-five in the event since the 2006 season. The sophomore followed up with another victory in the 200m, crossing the finish line with a time of 23.05, a season best for the Illini and second fastest of her career. Both times rank in the top five of the country as the 400m hurdle time is fourth and 200m ranks fifth.
This is the second time Spencer has been named Big Ten Outdoor Track Athlete of the week this season. Freshman Morolake Akinosun won the award last week.
Spencer and the Fighting Illini are off this weekend before splitting between the Mt. SAC Relays, Jesse Owens Track Classic and the LSU Alumni Gold Meet.