Sami Spenner will be on the run at the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s first Summit League track and field championships.
The junior from Columbus Scotus will compete in five events — and one of those is the five-event pentathlon. She’ll also compete in the long jump, triple jump, 60 hurdles and high jump.
The 1,600 relay is a possibility, too.
“She’s going to have to leave a field event and run right over and run a hurdle race,” Mavericks coach Steve Smith said. “She’ll go back and forth, and change her shoes as she’s running across the field house.”
Smith said Spenner is carrying the heavy load to score as many points as possible for UNO at the Sunday and Monday championships in Vermillion, S.D. The event was pushed back a day to avoid a conflict with a South Dakota basketball game.
North Dakota State is a huge favorite, Smith said, with the Mavs among several teams that could compete for second place.
Spenner leads the conference in the long jump (20-5¼), the pentathlon (4,126 points) and triple jump (42-7½), so she could bring in a lot of points.
Smith said they’ll be very conservative in those events. She’ll take it easy in the pentathlon and try to win the long and triple jumps with just a few attempts instead of the allotted six.
Her schedule Sunday starts with the pentathlon from 9:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. She’ll run the hurdles preliminary at 3:30 and the semifinals at 5:30. The long jump competition starts at 6:15.
Monday starts with the triple jump at 11:30 a.m. and the high jump at 2. The finals of the hurdles are at 2:20.
“She just keeps going and never stops,” Smith said.
UNO can’t qualify for the NCAA championships during its four-year reclassification to Division I. The university appealed for her to compete as a one-person team at the NCAA tournament, but its waiver was denied.
Spenner, who has been named the Summit League women’s athlete of the week a record six times this season, has already proved she can hang with some of the best athletes in the country. Her marks in the pentathlon, triple jump and long jump rank among the Division I leaders, though they do not appear on the national performance list.
Last week at the Nebraska Tuneup, she beat All-American Mara Griva of Nebraska in the triple jump by more than a foot.
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