July 2012 Volume 9

Leighton Spencer Captures 5k and 10K Titles at Olympic Trials

Noel Spencer
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Chester, NY: Leighton Spencer journeyed to Kingston, Jamaica to showcase his talent in the 5000M and 10000M at the Supreme Ventures- Jamaica Senior Championships -- the hosts for the Jamaica Olympic Trials and the NACAC U-23 trials (North America, Central America and Caribbean Championships) for athletes under 23 years of age.

At the close of the meet on Sunday, he walked away with a Double Championship in the 5000M and the 10000M joining Fraser-Pryce and Blake.

The meet commenced on June 28th and ended on Sunday, July 1st, 2012. The athletes were competing for selection to the NACAC U-23 in Mexico and at the London, UK Olympics.

Leighton defended his 5000M Senior championship title on Friday, June 29th which he won last year while recovering from a stress fracture in his left femur. He returned to the National Stadium track on Sunday July 1st to capture his first National Senior title in the 10,000M.

On Tuesday afternoon July 3rd; the JAAA officially contacted him on his selection to the U-23 NACAC meet in Guanajuato, Mexico.

Spencer has the distinction of  being the leading English speaking athlete currently ranked thirteenth in the 5000M and seventh in the 10,000M in the Central American and Caribbean region. The top rankings are dominated by Central American athletes.

In the fall of 2011, Spencer had a strong cross country season, when in the important Paul Short Invitational, he led the Columbia University team to a fourth place finish defeating a number of nationally ranked NCAA division 1 teams in the process. With his team mates in close procession during the race, the team earned a fantastic Division. National Ranking of 19th out of 30 for the first time in over 10 years for the Men’s program.

Later in the fall 2011 cross country season, Leighton again joined his fellow team mates by running an inspiring 18th place (and a team 2nd place) from a 240 person field at the NCAA Division 1 Regional Meet and at the same time enabling the Columbia Men’s Cross Country team to qualify for the NCAA Division 1 National Cross Country Championships for the first time in the Cross Country (XC) program history. Columbia placed third at the regional meet, and placed 27th out of 32 teams at the National Championships.

The extraordinary efforts by the Columbia XC team and Spencer earned him a couple of awards. The USTFCCA (The United States Track and Field Collegiate Coaches Association) named him one of the XC Collegiate athletes of 2011, additionally; the Columbia Men’s XC team earned the USTFCCA All-Academic honors to boot.

During the 2012 Indoor Track and Field season, Leighton continued his exploits by finishing 3rd at the Footlocker Collegiate Invitational running a personal best of 14minutes 32 seconds. He placed 7th at the Ivy League Championships with a time of 14 minutes 30 seconds on a slow Cornell University Indoor track.

Leighton who is the son of NY chapter KCOB Noel Spencer recently completed his 3rd year at Columbia University, majoring in Sociology.

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