Ashley Spencer earned the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's Midwest Region Athlete of the Year award.
June 3, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- University of Illinois sophomore Ashley Spencer earned the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's (USTFCCCA) Midwest Region Athlete of the Year award.
Spencer will look to add another national title this weekend, as she is the top seed in the 400m after running a season-best time of 50.88 at the NCAA West Prelims. The sophomore's time is the fastest in the NCAA, the first sub-51 collegiate sprinter this season and currently ranks No. 10 in the world. Spencer will also run in the automatic qualifying 4x400m relay squad which broke the school record at the West Prelims with a time of 3:30.76.
Spencer remained unbeaten at the Big Ten Championships, claiming titles in the 200 and 400m and was a member of the winning 4x400m relay. For her efforts at the Big Ten meet, she was named Big Ten Athlete of the Year and of the Championships. The Indianapolis, Ind., native was recently added to the final Bowerman Watch list, making her the youngest competitor in the group of elite athletes.
Spencer will be one of seven Illini to compete this week at the NCAA Championships along with freshman Morolake Akinosun (100m & 200m), junior's Samantha Murphy and Amanda Duvendack (800m), junior Stephanie Richartz (Pole Vault), senior Marissa Golliday (high jump) and is part of the 4x400m relay team with Golliday, Akinosun, and sister Ahlivia Spencer.