Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?


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Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby fasttrack85 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:12 pm

Not to me. She was well on her way to becoming one of the best american 400 meter runners ever. Her progression was in line with SRR(50.50 at 18 betters Sanya 50.58 at 18) and with her height her room for progression may be even better. The 400 hurdles is even tougher than the 400 flat and it is a good trade off only when something doesn't have the speed for the flat and is willing to put in the extra work. The top 400 girls are all coming to the end of their careers and Ashley is easily the best thing coming Americas way. What do you think?
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby 26mi235 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:27 pm

Are you aware that in high school she was a 300m hurdler that ran the 4x400 and 400 and some other events, not a 400m runner that ran some 300h races?

I do think that she is probably better at the 400, but I think for anyone to even begin to question her coach on this score borders on sillyness.

I saw what might have been a breakthrough race in terms of people understanding what she could do -- the not-too-stressed 51-high heat at the Big Ten Meet (followed by an unpressed 51.02 in the final + relays). Her coach knows a little bit about this area

During her career at Illinois, Buford-Bailey was a 10-time All-America selection and won a Big Ten-record 25 individual and team titles. She finished as a four-time Big Ten Athlete of the Year award winner and was named Athlete of the Championships three times. Buford-Bailey also received the prestigious University of Illinois Dike Eddleman Female Athlete of the Year award in 1992 and 1993. In 1992, she won the NCAA 400-meter hurdles outdoor title, and received a selection to the UI All-Decade team. Buford-Bailey became the first Illini female athlete to make the U.S. Olympic team.

Buford-Bailey was a three-time Olympian, earning a bronze medal in the 400m hurdles at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta to become the first female Illini athlete to win an Olympic medal. She also made the Olympic teams in 1992 and 2000. In addition, Buford-Bailey was the first woman in history to break the 53-second mark in the 400m hurdles, doing so on two occasions. She closed out the 1995 season ranked second in the world and her mark of 52.62 seconds in the 400m hurdles still remains fourth on the all-time world list.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby Marlow » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:50 pm

Take that speed and that potential and you've good a better shot at 400H OG gold (perhaps even a WR!) than you do 400 gold.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby fasttrack85 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:01 pm

I am aware of her hurdles background. However she has a world youth gold in an event which means she is the best person in the world at her age at that event. When you factor in how much more diffucult it is to run and jump(not to mention injury potential) and how good she was doing at 400(may i remind you again 50.50 at age 18) it makes no sense to switch back to a harder event when she was progressing nicely. I am wondering when this decision was made? Did the ncaa indoor loss have anything to do with it? While I think Regina George and Shaunae Miller are great i think Ashley Spencer can go toe to toe with them anyday. She had the disadvantage of not going head to head in her final. I am also wondering if this is about collegiate competition goals or professional(moscow). Ashley making the team in the 400 flat for Moscow is very doable if you ask me.

I think it is only natural to question her coach. However he coach may have plans that we cant forsee right now. I am following as an eager fan like everyone else but still have to wonder.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby fasttrack85 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:29 pm

Marlow wrote:Take that speed and that potential and you've good a better shot at 400H OG gold (perhaps even a WR!) than you do 400 gold.



That would mean Warren Weir should take up his hurdles again? He has the speed now right.

The technique required to be a championship hurdler are there own technique. I am not saying Ashley doesn't have a shot but at this stage it is still a gamble. Right now she is a good 400 hurdler in my opinion she is the best non pro 400 flat runner(although with some close competition). The 400 hurdles is not without competion as well Kori Carter, Georganna Moline and lets not even talk about the beasts like Demus, Antyuk, and Walker(?) in the pros.

Either way like I said before I am excited to see what she will do. If she comes out on top I will sing her praises and that of her coaches. I want to see her take a shot at making the us team in an event this year. Which do you reckon she has an easier shot with? Can she take out Demus, Terea Brown, Moline? I imagine the 400 flat will have its challenges but it just seems besides SRR and Mcrory there the third spot is always a toss up.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby 26mi235 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:17 pm

fasttrack85 wrote:I am wondering when this decision was made? Did the ncaa indoor loss have anything to do with it?


This has probably always been part of the plan. She has the hurdles background -- now that her 400 speed is up it is worthwhile to see how she runs the sticks. What she runs in March and April in related events does not mean that she has suddenly switched focus. Note that she also ran a 200 -- again, a 'related' event that does not mean that she has switched to that as her primary focus. Why don't we let her coach, who has a heck of a good mark in the 400h and has been very successful with AS in the 18 or so months that she has been on campus, be the coach. It is not nearly that point in time where comments from the peanut gallery have anything at all to offer here that are not already better and more accurately known to the team.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby Blues » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:24 pm

fasttrack85 wrote: When you factor in how much more diffucult it is to run and jump(not to mention injury potential) and how good she was doing at 400(may i remind you again 50.50 at age 18) it makes no sense to switch back to a harder event when she was progressing nicely.


50.50 at age 19, but who's counting... :wink:
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby aaronk » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:55 pm

One's speed at 400 hasn't always translated well to 400H times.
Marie-Jose Perec is THE prime example.
She's the fastest woman to try the 400H, with her 48.25 flat 400.
She ran "only" 53.21 for the 400H.
That's 4.96 difference!

Also, Kori Carter just ran 54.71, crushing her old 400H PR of 57.10, by 2.39 seconds!!
Don't know what Carter's flat 400 best is, but I'm pretty sure it's much slower than Spencer's 50.50!!
And Georgeanne Moline just ran a 50.2 400 relay leg.
That's faster than Spencer, and she's already run 400H in 53.92.
Will have to wait and see if Spencer can run within 2 or 3 seconds of her flat 400 best in the 400H.
If she can, then the AR...and maybe the WR would be in jeopardy.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby gh » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:47 pm

fasttrack85 wrote:.....
That would mean Warren Weir should take up his hurdles again? He has the speed now right. .....


The difference between a sprinter running the 110s and the 400s is day and night. Finely honed technique is a must for success on the straight, but as Jackson and Taylor have showed us, raw speed can make up for a multitude of hurdling sins in the 1-lapper.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby gktrack » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:45 pm

Wasn't it almost a year ago the forum was discussing whether she should go to the Olympic Trials? It seems her coach is looking out for her long-term interests, or so it seems, whether we agree or not. And why not both events?, long-term, she could be the female version of Angelo Taylor, who has medals to show in both events, along with countless 4x4 medals. Demus was the best HS hurdler ever, ran 54.5 in college, and 7 years after that ran her 52.47 (and some very good 4x4 legs). I believe we'll see this type of greatness and longevity from Ashley over the years to come.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby 26mi235 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:50 pm

aaronk wrote:And Georgeanne Moline just ran a 50.2 400 relay leg.
That's faster than Spencer, and she's already run 400H in 53.92.


A 50.50 after rounds is inferior to a one-off 50.2 (+/- 0.X?)? Really?

As for speed in the short hurdles relative to technique - Gail Devers probably had relatively more speed than hurdling for a 12.3 gal. gh, can you say a bit more?
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby doug5321 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:53 pm

look at who ashley spencers coach is tonja buford-bailey who is #5 on the all time 400 hurdles llist at 52.62, i am sure in the back of her mind she wants spencer to break the 52.34 world record and also be a force in the open 400.

the womens 400 hurdles record would seem the best chance for spencer to get the world record, think sanya richards-ross and allyson felix talent doing the hurdles.
Last edited by doug5321 on Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby Marlow » Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:52 am

We've seen some pretty rough technique on REAL world-class 400Hers. That said, the hurdles ain't for everyone (Perec). But I (for one) applaud Spencer and her coach for exploring this avenue. Ya never know till ya try!!
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby batonless relay » Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:07 am

Exploring this avenue? :roll: If anything, the 400m was the diversion, not the 400 hurdles.

http://www.fightingillini.com/sports/w- ... ley00.html
2010 state runner-up in the 100m hurdles, 100m hurdles (2011), 300m hurdles (2011) ... Attended the Midwest Meet of Championships, won the 300m hurdles and 4x400m relay and placing third in the 100m hurdles.


Newsflash on Perec: she ran hurdles as a junior. And, 53.21 when the world record was 52-high would be considered pretty good. Excellent even. The reality is that she could have been MUCH better if she wanted to; as could Irina Privalova.

One other thing for those of you who are comparing 400m times and extrapolating 400h speed and vice-versa. Ask anyone who has coached national class and above hurdlers and it something of a paradox develops with some hurdlers: they can run fast hurdles but not fast 400s. The pacing becomes so much of a "crutch" that they forget to just RUN. So, Melanie Walker (51.61), Lashinda Demus (51.09) and yes, Tonja Buford-Bailey (53.10) may not have have 50-point and 49-point 400s to their CV but they do/did have the "speed" to run those kind of times; and though a few of the British women 400hers have run sub-51 indoors they haven't been sub-53. People who know the event know this. TBB knows the event. I trust TBB a lot more than some of you.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby gh » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:28 am

another logical way to look at the event choice.

If you were the Spencer camp and thought she was ready for some glory in Moscow this year, would you think she has a better chance against

a—SRR, Montsho, Williams-Mills, Ohuruogu, McCorory, Trotter & Krivoshapkina?

b—Spencer, Demus, Hejnová, Antyukh, Shakes-Drayton, Walker?

(those being the top end of last year's World Rankings)

I know which way I'd be headed in a heartbeat.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby Smoke » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:00 am

The assumption here is that the young lady cannot maintain her flat 4 speed. There is also the claim that the 400 needs her. I disagree on both counts.
The US 4h is woefully shallow right now. If they are evaluating this thing on where she would have the most success and best chance at teams, and medals, it is the 4h. There are always sprinters, but long hurdlers have proven to be a rare breed.
Further more, she is 50.50. She is not going to get slower. We will see how she transitions, and yes I trust in Tonja to make this call.
The formula is hypothetical. We will just have to see if she can translate.

PS. that bio on Tonja is erroneous, she was not the first woman to crack 53. Did they mean first and only Illni woman?
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby gh » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:11 am

Smoke wrote:...
The US 4h is woefully shallow right now. If they are evaluating this thing on where she would have the most success and best chance at teams, and medals, it is the 4h. ...


Oh yeah, I should have made that conclusion in my previous "who would you rather face" post, which was at the world level. There are 3 US women in the 400 and only 1 in the 400H. So obviously getting to Moscow in the first place in the hurdles is the more sensible way to go.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby 26mi235 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:28 am

gh wrote:There are 3 US women in the 400 and only 1 in the 400H. So obviously getting to Moscow in the first place in the hurdles is the more sensible way to go.


Are you discounting Moline or counting Demus in a different group because of her Auto Slot in the WCs? Seems to me that Cori Carter has already moved in to contention as well with her 54.71?
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby gh » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:41 am

i wasn't counting/discounting anything: I simply listed the top-end women in last year's World Rankings as a quickie guide as to relative strength of the two events internationally.

Left unsaid (because I assumed it was obvious) is that nearly all of the 400H names are "flawed" performers in the sense of being up or down on a given day. The window of opportunity is therefore wider (assuming, of course, that Spencer has an up-day when others are down!), particularly for anybody who develops consistency. See Greene, Dai at the ’11 Worlds.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby fourjz » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:54 am

It makes sense to me. :)
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby gktrack » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:38 am

A question for you folks related to this topic... For a female runner (such as Ashley) competitively running both the 400 and 400H at a high international level, what should we expect the difference in one's times be? The difference in world leading times has been in the 3.0-3.5 second range. On the men's side, A. Taylor's PR difference is 3.2 seconds.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby batonless relay » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:31 am

gktrack wrote:A question for you folks related to this topic... For a female runner (such as Ashley) competitively running both the 400 and 400H at a high international level, what should we expect the difference in one's times be? The difference in world leading times has been in the 3.0-3.5 second range. On the men's side, A. Taylor's PR difference is 3.2 seconds.

I don't think the 3.0 - 3.5 second range has any value. It sounds good and it applies to a few, but that's the problem: it only applies to a few.

Zuzana Hejnová - 400 m: 52.61, 100 m hurdles: 13.36; 400 m hurdles: 53.29, NR
Natalya Antyukh - 200m*: 22.75, 400m*: 49.85, 400m hurdles: 52.70s *8 years prior to 4h
Nicola Sanders - 400m: 49.65, 400mH: 55.32
Ionela Tarlea - 200m: 22.35, 400m: 49.88, 400m hurdles: 53.25 (Probably the most talented, imo)
Fani Halkia - 400m: 50.56, 400mH: 52.77
Kim Batten - 400m: 50.61, 400m hurdles: 52.61
Deon Hemmings - 400m: 50.63, 400mH: 52.82
Yuliya Pechenkina - 400m: 53.22/51.00i, 400m: 52.34
Kaliese Spencer - 400m: 50.55, 400mh: 52.79
Daimi Pernia - 400m: 51.10, 400mH: 52.89
Nezha Bidouane - 400m: 51.67, 400mH: 52.90
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby Marlow » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:47 am

batonless relay wrote:I don't think the 3.0 - 3.5 second range has any value. It sounds good and it applies to a few, but that's the problem: it only applies to a few.

Zackly. I gave up long ago trying to do the eldrick thing of predicting success across 'similar' events. Look at SP/DT, LJ/TJ, 100/110H. Some people 'beat' the conversion; some don't get close.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby gktrack » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:02 am

batonless relay wrote:I don't think the 3.0 - 3.5 second range has any value. It sounds good and it applies to a few, but that's the problem: it only applies to a few.

Thanks Marlow and batonless relay... I guess my question specifically applied to those few that attempt both competitively, at the same time, which is why I'm asking. e.g.Demus' 51.09 400 vs. 52.47 400H doesn't mean much, because she focuses on the 400H (while her 49.38 relay split may be a better indicator of her potential 400 PR). Angelo Taylor is one of those few, and if Ashley pursues both events at the same time, I was just trying to get a feel as to what to expect. Sounds like it much more complicated than numbers - appreciate the feedback.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby gh » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:05 am

Summing up: a hurdler trying to run fast for a long time and a long sprinter trying to hurdle are two completely different animals without a sharply defined middle ground.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby gh » Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:34 am

Spencer pulled up halfway through the 400H at Baton Rouge yesterday, maybe a slight hammy.

Before the race, Tonja Buford-Bailey said they had no idea yet whether she'd run flat or hurdles at Nationals.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby Marlow » Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:43 am

gh wrote:Tonja Buford-Bailey said they had no idea yet whether she'd run flat or hurdles at Nationals.

Good for her. I think the hurdle training can only help her 400-flat strength, if that's how they go.
A couple of years ago, I trained a boy only for the 300H all spring and he ended up breaking the school record for the 400-flat (but not the 300H). That was the end of the hurdles experiment, but I think it was worth it. Spencer may find that her body doesn't 'like' the hurdles . . . or . . . she could be a world-beater in the hurdles!
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby 26mi235 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:50 pm

I think she has still run more long hurdles races than she has run (outdoor) 400s (not counting relays). She was primarily a 300h runner in high school.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby gktrack » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:08 pm

gh wrote:Spencer pulled up halfway through the 400H at Baton Rouge yesterday, maybe a slight hammy.

Before the race, Tonja Buford-Bailey said they had no idea yet whether she'd run flat or hurdles at Nationals.

Looks like Ashley ran in a couple relays at Drake, including a 50.0 4x4 relay split according to the article, so hopefully no hammy concerns... I couldn't find any video of the race though.
http://www.fightingillini.com/sports/w-xctrack/recaps/042713aaa.html
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby gktrack » Sat May 11, 2013 7:11 pm

Ashley's back to the flat, at least in the Big 10 Champs this weekend - running 23.43 / 52.66 in prelims today.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby 26mi235 » Sat May 11, 2013 8:53 pm

Last year she shocked by running the prelim in 51.99 when no one was expecting it, then running 51.02 in the Final. It is not certain what the implies, but doing the hurdles and the 4x400, 4x100 (?) and 200 is harder than doing the flat race.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby jazzcyclist » Sat May 11, 2013 8:56 pm

fasttrack85 wrote:What do you think?

I think Shaunae Miller is going to make a lot of girls switch to the 400 hurdles.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby 26mi235 » Sat May 11, 2013 9:01 pm

Not a lot of cover in the 400h with a high-placing Olympic Finalist there.

What was surprising was how well Miller ran indoors because not all athletes big like she is do well in that environment. Of course, this was a banked 200, not a flat 200 or a 176y/160m.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby jazzcyclist » Sat May 11, 2013 9:05 pm

26mi235 wrote:Not a lot of cover in the 400h with a high-placing Olympic Finalist there.

:? :?:
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby 26mi235 » Sun May 12, 2013 8:30 am

Isn't Moline still running NCAA? Maybe I am just mistaken.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby gktrack » Sun May 12, 2013 8:48 am

26mi235 wrote:Isn't Moline still running NCAA? Maybe I am just mistaken.

Moline, Carter, Thompson in Pac 12's today... all running relatively well.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby gktrack » Sun May 12, 2013 1:15 pm

Ashley with a busy day at the Big10's after a couple rounds yesterday - anchored both relays today, and in between won the 400 in 52.27 and the 200 in 23.20 (-0.5).
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby 26mi235 » Sun May 12, 2013 4:05 pm

Last year as a freshman she did the same thing having her huge breakout, pushing hard with 51.9x/51.02 and 23-low/22.9x; however, the weather was much nicer last year (in Madison) than this weekend in Columbus. Plus, I think she knows that this year the focus is more on the NCAA and then USATF rather than Big Tens/NCAA.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby t_monk » Sun May 12, 2013 4:50 pm

I still believe Shaunea Miller will decimate the 400m field if she is fit. It will be a nice battle between Spencer, Miller and George.
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Re: Anyone think Ashley Spencer hurdle switch makes sense?

Postby ATK » Sun May 12, 2013 5:49 pm

t_monk wrote:I still believe Shaunea Miller will decimate the 400m field if she is fit. It will be a nice battle between Spencer, Miller and George.

I'm still curious as to what happened to Miller. She ran the 3rd leg of the 4x1 at SEC's but was a last minute scratch from the 400m final...
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