Since the beginning of the season, the UNO women's track and field team has been setting personal bests and meet records weekend after weekend. Last Saturday at the Concordia Indoor Invitational in Seward, Neb. was no different.
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.
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
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.