Levern Spencer

Levern Donaline Spencer, SLMM (born 23 June 1984 in Cacao Babonneau, Castries[1][2][3]) is a Saint Lucian retired athlete and high jumper. Spencer was a four-time Olympian for Saint Lucia and competed in eight World Championships. She was also a gold medalist at both the Commonwealth Games and Pan-American Games.

Levern Spencer
LevernSpencer-23Sep09-147.jpg
Spencer in 2009
Personal information
Full nameLevern Donaline Spencer
Born (1984-06-23) 23 June 1984 (age 38)
Babonneau, Castries, Saint Lucia
Height1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight50 kg (110 lb)
WebsiteLevernSpencer.lc/
Sport
Country Saint Lucia
SportAthletics
Event(s)High jump
Coached byPetros Kyprianou
Retired31 October 2021
Updated on 7 January 2015.

BiographyEdit

Early careerEdit

Born in Castries, Spencer attended the University of Georgia in the United States.[4] She earned a bachelor's degree from Georgia in Health Promotion and Behavior, having first embarked upon a course of study in computer science. She competed at several CARIFTA Games, bringing home gold in 2001. That same year, she earned the bronze medal at the World Youth Championships in Athletics in Debrecen, Hungary, jumping 1.81 m. Earlier in the season, she sailed over 1.84 m, a Saint Lucian national record.

In 2002, she won silver medal behind Jamaica's Shaunette Davindson at the CARIFTA Games. Later that year, she finished in eighth place at the World Junior Championships with 1.83 m, far from the winner, Croatia's Blanka Vlašić. At the end of the season, Spencer made her first appearance at the Commonwealth Games, ending in 12th place with a jump of 1.74 m.

In 2003, she bettered her national record and personal best, clearing 1.86 m twice. Still a junior athlete, she made the final at the Pan American Games and ended in fifth place. In 2004, she jumped 1.88 m.

2005 was a breakthrough year for Spencer. After turning 21, she won her first major title at the Central American and Caribbean Championships by clearing a new personal best and national record of 1.94 m. This result earned her a spot in the 2005 World Championships in Athletics. She was eliminated from competition in the qualifying round, only recording 1.84 m.

In 2006, she took gold at the NACAC Under-23 Championships and won bronze at the Central American and Caribbean Games. At the Commonwealth Games, she finished 5th. During the season, she only jumped 1.90 m in April.

First major final (2007) and first olympic team (2008)Edit

During the 2007 season, Spencer won the NACAC Championships and took bronze at the Pan American Games behind Mexico's Romary Rifka and Canada's Nicole Forrester. Competing at her second senior 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Spencer made the final by equalling her own national record of 1.94 m. She finished 15th with 1.90 m in the final.

In 2008, Spencer, Dominic Johnson and Erma Gene Evans were the only three athletes representing Saint Lucia at the 2008 Summer Olympics. She did not make the final, only managing 1.85 m for 27th. Earlier in the season, she won the 2008 Central American and Caribbean Championships with a jump of 1.91 m.

Professional careerEdit

In 2009, Spencer signed her first professional contract with Stellar Group, becoming the first high jumper on their roster. She repeated as Central American and Caribbean champion in Havana, Cuba and signed an endorsement deal with Caribbean telecommunications provider LIME. She was featured on the cover of the 2010 LIME Services Directory.

After taking the gold medal at the 2009 Central American and Caribbean Championships in Athletics, Spencer was the sole Saint Lucian to qualify for the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Berlin, but she failed to make the final. She also narrowly missed out on making the cut for the season-ending 2009 IAAF World Athletics Final, finishing ninth in the world for women's high jump. On 18 July 2009, she achieved her best jump of 1.95 m in Zaragoza.

On 8 May 2010, in Athens, Georgia, she cleared 1.98 m to cruise to a victory with what was at the time the second-best jump in the world for the 2010 season.[5] The jump is the Saint Lucia National Record and the record for the Caribbean Community. With this result of 1.98 m, Spencer was the leading women's high jumper in the Commonwealth. At the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, however, she needed two attempts to clear 1.88m, and eventually recorded Saint Lucia's best-ever individual finish at Commonwealth Games athletics with a bronze medal, joining Dominic Johnson, who took bronze in men's Pole Vault in 2002 in Manchester. In 2010, Spencer recorded six of the top ten best jumps of her career. She scored a victory at the 2010 CAC Games with a jump of 1.94 m and also had success on the European circuit, scoring five straight victories in Finland to scoop the 2010 Finnish Elite Games jackpot.[6]

In 2011, she failed to make the final at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, missing by one spot. In the IAAF Diamond League, she finished second with 1.92 m behind two-time reigning world champion Blanka Vlašić. After the world championships, she won her fifth consecutive Central American and Caribbean Championships in Mayagüez but finished in 7th place at the 2011 Pan American Games.

In 2012, Spencer was awarded an Olympic Solidarity Scholarship and began training in Germany. She qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London but did not make the final, finishing 19th with 1.90 m.

In 2013, Spencer won a sixth gold medal at the Central American and Caribbean Championships in Athletics, jumping 1.95 m,[7] her highest jump since 2010. At the World Championships in Moscow, she qualified for her second major final, thanks to a 1.92 m jump. She finished 11th in the final.

In 2014, Spencer made the finals at the World Indoor Championships with a new national indoor record of 1.95 m in the qualifying rounds, before finishing 7th in the final. This was her best performance at a world championship. Then, she cleared 1.96 m, her best jump since 2010, before successfully defending her Central American and Caribbean Games title in Veracruz, Mexico. She won bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow with 1.88 m. behind Australian Eleanor Patterson (1.94 m)and English jumper Isobel Pooley (1.92 m)[8] She placed fifth at the Continental Cup. She won gold at the Pan Games Festival in Mexico City, Mexico.[9] She placed second at the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Championships, behind Jeannelle Scheper, who also beat her at Saint Lucia's National Championships.[citation needed]

First olympic final (2016)Edit

Spencer qualified for the 2015 World Championships in Athletics in Beijing, and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro by clearing 1.94 m at the Meeting Madrid in July. She won the Saint Lucia National Championship with a height of 1.90 m. Along with Jeannelle Scheper, Spencer represented Saint Lucia at the 2015 Pan American Games. She won gold with a best height of 1.94 m. It was Saint Lucia's first gold medal ever at the Pan Am Games; the country had been represented at these Games six times since 1985[10] and then claimed the NACAC Championships title in San José, Costa Rica.[11] At the World Championships, she again qualified for the final but finished in 12th place with 1.88 m.

On 13 February 2016, Spencer equalled her own national indoor record in Hustopeče, with 1.95 m.[12] A month later, at the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships, she placed sixth with 1.93 m, three centimeters away from the gold medal, won by American Vashti Cunningham.[13] On 30 April, she jumped a World Lead (WL) of 1.95 m in Des Moines, Iowa, before attacking 2.00 m., where she failed on three attempts.

On 14 May, at the IAAF Diamond League tour in Shanghai, she earned a victory with a jump of 1.94 m, on countback ahead of Uzbekistan's Nadiya Dusanova. In late June, she won the national title with 1.94 m. She competed in the qualifying round of the women's high jump at the Olympics in August and became the first Saint-Lucian athlete to qualify for the final. She finished in 6th place.[14] Back in Saint Lucia, the local population came to celebrate her performance.[15] Two weeks after the Olympics, she jumped 1.96 m at the Meeting de Paris to place second behind Ruth Beitia.[16] At the end of the season, she finishes second in the IAAF Diamond League tournament, behind Beitia again.[17]

In the 2017 season, Spencer's best jump was 1.92 m. At the 2017 World Championships in London, she was the only Saint-Lucian athlete. She failed to enter into the final, finishing in 13th place in the qualifying round.[18]

In 2018, she decided to compete in the indoor season. For her first outing, she cleared the Commonwealth Games standard with 1.90 m.[19] On 27 January, she won the high jump competition in Hustopeče with 1.93 m, the third best result in the world.[20] Three days later, she equaled her national indoor record from 2014 and 2016 in Třinec, jumping 1.95 m and claiming victory.[21] She competed at the 2018 NACAC Championships, winning a third consecutive title at 1.91m.

RetirementEdit

After the Tokyo Olympics, Spencer announced her retirement from athletics on 31 October 2021 at the age of 37.[22]

AchievementsEdit

Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representing   Saint Lucia
1999 CARIFTA Games (U17) Fort-de-France, Martinique 10th 1.55m
2000 CARIFTA Games (U-17) St. George's, Grenada 3rd 1.73m
Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships (U17) San Juan, Puerto Rico 4th 1.67m
2001 CARIFTA Games (U-20) Bridgetown, Barbados 1st 1.79m
World Youth Championships Debrecen, Hungary 3rd 1.81m
Central American and Caribbean Championships Guatemala City, Guatemala 1st 1.80m
2002 CARIFTA Games (U-20) Nassau, Bahamas, Bahamas 2nd 1.82m
Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships Bridgetown, Barbados 1st 1.81m
World Junior Championships Kingston, Jamaica 8th 1.83 m
Commonwealth Games Manchester, United Kingdom 12th 1.74m
2003 CARIFTA Games (U-20) Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago 7th (h) 100m:
12.46 s (0.0 m/s)
2nd 1.86m CR
Windward Islands Games Grand Bay, Dominica 1st 100m:
12.3 (ht)
1st 1.84m
Pan American Junior Athletics Championships Bridgetown, Barbados 2nd 1.83m
Pan American Games Santo Domingo, Dom. Republic 5th 1.83m
2004 NACAC Under-23 Championships Sherbrooke, Canada 2nd 1.85m
2005 Central American and Caribbean Championships Nassau, Bahamas 1st 1.94m
World Championships Helsinki, Finland 22nd (q) 1.84m
2006 NACAC Under-23 Championships Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 1st 1.81m
Commonwealth Games Melbourne, Australia 5th 1.83m
Central American and Caribbean Games Cartagena, Colombia 3rd 1.88m
2007 NACAC Championships San Salvador, El Salvador 1st 1.89m
Pan American Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 3rd 1.87m
World Championships Osaka, Japan 15th (f) 1.90m
2008 Central American and Caribbean Championships Cali, Colombia 1st 1.91m
Olympic Games Beijing, PR China 27th (q) 1.85m
2009 Central American and Caribbean Championships Havana, Cuba 1st 1.91m
World Championships Berlin, Germany 24th (q) 1.89m
2010 Central American and Caribbean Games Mayaguez, Puerto Rico 1st 1.94m
Continental Cup Split, Croatia 3rd 1.88m
Commonwealth Games Delhi, India 3rd 1.88m
2011 Central American and Caribbean Championships Mayagüez, Puerto Rico 1st 1.82m
World Championships Daegu, South Korea 13th (q) 1.92m
Pan American Games Guadalajara, México 7th 1.81m A
2012 World Indoor Championships Istanbul, Turkey 15th (q) 1.88m
Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 19th (q) 1.90m
2013 Central American and Caribbean Championships Morelia, Mexico 1st 1.92m
World Championships Moscow, Russia 11th 1.89m
2014 World Indoor Championships Sopot, Poland 7th 1.94m
Commonwealth Games Glasgow, United Kingdom 3rd 1.92m
Pan American Sports Festival Ciudad de México, México 1st 1.88m A
Continental Cup Marrakech, Morocco 5th 1.87m
Central American and Caribbean Games Veracruz, Mexico 1st 1.89m A
2015 Pan American Games Toronto, Canada 1st 1.94m
NACAC Championships San José, Costa Rica 1st 1.91m
World Championships Beijing, China 12th 1.88m
2016 World Indoor Championships Portland, United States 5th 1.93m
Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 6th 1.93m
2017 World Championships London, United Kingdom 13th (q) 1.89m
2018 World Indoor Championships Birmingham, United Kingdom 10th 1.84m
Commonwealth Games Gold Coast, Australia 1st 1.95m
Central American and Caribbean Games Barranquilla, Colombia 1st 1.90m
NACAC Championships Toronto, Canada 1st 1.91m
2019 Pan American Games Lima, Peru 1st 1.87m
World Championships Doha, Qatar 13th (q) 1.92m
2021 Olympic Games Tokyo, Japan 22th (q) 1.86m

Personal bestsEdit

Event Result Venue Date
Outdoor
100 m 12.3 s (wind: NWI) (ht)   Grand Bay 30 Jul 2003
200 m 24.22 s (wind: NWI)   Orlando, Florida 30 Apr 2005
24.1 s (wind: NWI) (ht)   Castries 1 Jun 2003
High jump 1.98 m   Athens, Georgia 8 May 2010
Long jump 6.08 m (wind: 0.0 m/s )   Athens, Georgia 12 Apr 2014
Indoor
High jump 1.95 m   Sopot
  Hustopece
  Des Moines
  Třinec
7 Mar 2014
13 Feb 2016
30 Apr 2016
30 Jan 2018

Outdoor progressionEdit

Year Height Location Date
2014 1.96m Athens, Georgia, United States 12 April 2014
2013 1.95m Morelia 5 July 2013
2012 1.91m Regensburg 2 June 2012
2011 1.94m Hengelo 29 May 2011
2010 1.98m Athens, Georgia, United States 8 May 2010
2009 1.95m Zaragoza, Spain 18 July 2009
2008 1.93m Athens, Georgia, United States 19 April 2008
2007 1.94m Osaka, Japan 31 August 2007
2006 1.90m Walnut, California, United States 15 April 2006
2005 1.94m Nassau, Bahamas 10 July 2005
2004 1.88m St George's, Grenada 29 May 2004
2003 1.86m Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago 21 April 2003
2003 1.86m St George's, Grenada 28 March 2003
2002 1.83m Kingston, Jamaica 20 July 2002
2001 1.84m St.George's, Grenada 27 June 2001
2000 1.73m St George's, Grenada 23 April 2000

Honors and awardsEdit

Spencer is a recipient of the following:

-   Saint Lucia - Medal of Merit (2016)[22][23]


ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Laurence, Kwame (2 September 2010), Focus on Athletes biographies - Levern Spencer, IAAF
  2. ^ Biography - SPENCER Levern Donaline, PASO, retrieved 6 January 2015
  3. ^ Levern Spencer - Biography, Commonwealth Games Federation, retrieved 6 January 2015
  4. ^ Track & Field - Levern Spencer, Georgia Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs, archived from the original on 6 September 2015, retrieved 6 January 2015
  5. ^ "Levern Leaps To World #2". terryfinisterre.blogspot.com. 9 May 2010. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
  6. ^ Sonninen, A-P (22 August 2010). Spencer takes the Finnish Elite Games jackpot in Joensuu. IAAF. Retrieved on 24 August 2010.
  7. ^ "IAAF: Fisher and Adams impress in the sprints at Central American and Caribbean Championships| News | iaaf.org". iaaf.org. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  8. ^ "Glasgow 2014 - Women's High Jump Final". g2014results.thecgf.com. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  9. ^ "IAAF: Moreno bids farewell on top, Silva over 4.60m at Central American and Caribbean Games| News | iaaf.org". iaaf.org. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  10. ^ Pingue, Frank (22 July 2015). "De Grasse wins 100 meters title; St. Lucia strikes Pan Am gold". Reuters. Archived from the original on 26 July 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  11. ^ "IAAF: Dwyer, Jefferson and Burks the stars of the final day of NACAC Championships| News | iaaf.org". iaaf.org. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  12. ^ "IAAF: Tamberi clears world-leading 2.38m in Hustopece – indoor round-up| News | iaaf.org". iaaf.org. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  13. ^ Zach Shugan (20 August 2017). "Former Bulldog Levern Spencer finishes 6th at Olympics". The Red and Black. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  14. ^ Zach Shugan (20 August 2017). "Former Bulldog Levern Spencer finishes 6th at Olympics". The Red and Black. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  15. ^ "Saint Lucia celebrates Olympian Levern Spencer". St. Lucia Times News. 20 August 2016. Archived from the original on 3 August 2017. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  16. ^ "Levern clears season-best in Diamond League". Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  17. ^ "Programm / Zeitplan / Resultate - Diamond League - Zurich". zurich.diamondleague.com. Archived from the original on 1 September 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  18. ^ "Athletics-World championships women's high jump qualification results". The Economic Times. 11 August 2017. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  19. ^ "Clemson: decolla la Orji nel triplo - altro sudafricano-sprinter: Titi WL sui 200 e record nazionale" (in Italian). Queen Atletica. 22 January 2018. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  20. ^ "El ruso Lysenko, mejor marca mundial de altura con 2,37". Eurosport Espana. 28 January 2018. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  21. ^ "Ufficiale: Lysenko è un androide... altro super-volo a Trinec!" (in Italian). Queen Atletica. 30 January 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  22. ^ a b De Beauville, Anthony (6 November 2021). "Levern Spencer Retires From International Athletics". St. Lucia News From The Voice. Retrieved 6 November 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. ^ "Independence Awards announced". Saint Lucia - Access Government. Retrieved 10 November 2021.

External linksEdit

Olympic Games
Preceded by Flagbearer for   Saint Lucia
Beijing 2008
London 2012
Rio de Janeiro 2016
Succeeded by
Jean-Luc Zephir and
Levern Spencer