Sami Spenner of the UNO women's track team was named the Summit League Woman
Athlete of the week last week for the third time in a row. It's also the fourth time Spenner has received the award this year.
It's a surprising feat, until one learns she almost qualified for the U.S. Olympic trials last summer and is one of the best athletes in all of Division I Track.
Spenner's continued success this season, after what she accomplished last year, has proven
to many just how exceptional of an athlete she truly is.
Just five days after competing in six events at the Summit League Indoor Championships, Sami Spenner went to the U.S. Track and Field Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. and cemented her reputation as one of Division I's best athletes.
On Feb. 25, she was named the Field MVP at the conference championships. March 1 Spenner finished fourth in the pentathlon and bested her own school record with a final score of 4,271 points.
Spenner's result in Albuquerque was just 207 points behind winner Sharon Day, last summer's runner-up at the Olympic Trials. Weeks later Day went on to wear the red, white and blue and compete in the 2012 London Games.
But despite those facts, the NCAA denied UNO's request to grant Spenner a waiver to compete in any NCAA championship events. Steve Smith, the head coach of UNO track and field, likens the NCAA's handling of Spenner to the football program at Southern Methodist receiving the death penalty in 1987
A week after the UNO women's track and field team began the spring schedule at the Tulsa Duals, the Mavs achieved more success at the Bobby Lane Invitational at Texas-Arlington. UNO set three personal bests and had two athletes finish highly after competing in events for the first time in their careers.
The UNO track and field team returned from a Friday meet in Lincoln, Neb., freshly qualified for the NCAA Division II indoor track and field championship in the 4 x 400 meter relay.
UNO's Sami Spenner won three events and took second in another at the 2012 Ashley Nally Heptathlon at Northwest Missouri State on Sunday. Spenner won the heptathlon, long jump and 800 meters, while finishing second in the javelin and picking up personal bests in the 100-meter hurdles, the high jump and the 200 meters.
The UNO women's track field team concluded their indoor season Friday at the Nebraska Tune-Up in Lincoln at the Devaney Center. Just like the last few weeks, records were broken and personal bests were beaten as the Mavs get ready for the outdoor season.
Finishing in the top 20 is normally a springboard to further success the following season. For the UNO women's track and field team and Assistant Coach Chris Richardson, competing in 2012 means much more than just getting better than last year.