Levern Spencer

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Levern Spencer
LevernSpencer-23Sep09-147.jpg
Spencer in 2009
Personal information
Full name Levern Donaline Spencer
Born (1984-06-23) June 23, 1984 (age 33)
Babonneau, Castries, Saint Lucia
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight 50 kg (110 lb)
Website LevernSpencer.lc/
Sport
Country  Saint Lucia
Sport Athletics
Event(s) High jump
Updated on 7 January 2015.

Levern Donaline Spencer (born 23 June 1984) is a Saint Lucian high jumper. Spencer was born in Cacao Babonneau, Castries.[1][2][3]

Biography[edit]

Early career[edit]

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

In 2002, she doesn't retain her CARIFTA Games title, winning the silver medal behind Jamaica's Shaunette Davindson. Later that year, she finished in 8th place at the World Junior Championships with 1.83 m, far from the winner, Croatia's Blanka Vlašić. At the end of the season, Levern Spencer makes her first appearance at the Commonwealth Games, ending in 12th place with a low performance of 1.74 m.

In 2003, she betters her national record and personal best, clearing twice 1.86 m in the season. Still a junior athlete, she makes the final at the Pan American Games and ends in 5th place. In 2004, she jumps 1.88 m.

2005 is the year of the breakthrough for Levern Spencer. As she just turns 21, the Saint-Lucian wins her first major title by winning at the Central American and Caribbean Championships by clearing a new personal best and national record of 1.94 m. This result earns her a sport for the 2005 World Championships in Athletics. There, she faces her first big disappointed by exiting the competition in the qualifying round, only recording 1.84 m.

2006 isn't her best year. Though she takes gold at the NACAC Under-23 Championships and bags bronze at the Central American and Caribbean Games, Levern Spencer fails again to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games, finishing 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, Levern Spencer wins the NACAC Championships and takes 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 creates history when making the final, equalling in the qualification round her own national record of 1.94 m. She then finished 15th with 1.90 m.

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

Professional career[edit]

In 2009, Levern 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 – Landline, Internet, Mobile and Entertainment. She is featured on the cover of the 2010 LIME Services Directory, over 75,000 copies of which were distributed.

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 Saturday 18 July 2009, she achieved her best jump of 1.95 m in Zaragoza.

On Saturday 8 May 2010, in Athens, Georgia, she clears 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] It's also the current Saint Lucia National Record and the record for the Caribbean Community. With this result of 1.98 m, Levern was the leading women's high jumper in the Commonwealth. At the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, 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, Levern 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, narrowly missing it by one spot. In the IAAF Diamond League, she makes a top 3 in Roma, finishing second with 1.92 m behind two-time reigning world champion Blanka Vlašić. After the world championships, she wins her fifth consecutive Central American and Caribbean Championships in Mayagüez but finished at a disappointing 7th place at the 2011 Pan American Games.

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

In 2013, Spencer wins 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 qualifies for her second major final, thanks to a 1.92 m jump. She finished 11th in the final, her best honor at that time, only finishing ahead of Germany's Marie-Laurence Jungfleisch.

In 2014, Levern had a very similar year to 2010. She 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 is her best performance at a world championship. Then, she cleares 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, Scotland with 1.88 m. Disappointed, she's beaten by Australia's 18 year-old Eleanor Patterson (1.94 m)and England's 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.

First olympic final (2016)[edit]

Levern qualified for the 2015 World Championships in Athletics in Beijing, China, and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, by clearing 1.94 m at the Meeting Madrid in July. This made her eligible for her sixth World Championships and third Olympics. She won the Saint Lucia National Championship with a height of 1.90 m. Along with Jeannelle Scheper, Levern represented Saint Lucia at the 2015 Pan Am 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 and then claimed the NACAC Championships title in San José, Costa Rica[10]. At the World Championships, she again qualified for the final but there failed to show her potential, taking 12th place with 1.88 m.

On February 13th, 2016, Levern Spencer equals her own national indoor record in Hustopeče, with 1.95 m[11]. A month later, at the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships, she places sixth with 1.93 m, three centimeters away from the gold medal, won by USA's 18 year-old Vashti Cunningham[12]. On April 30th, she jumps a World Lead (WL) of 1.95 m in Des Moines, Iowa, before attacking 2.00 m., where she failed her three attempts.

On Mai 14th, she creates history for Saint Lucia by becoming the first athlete (both men and women) to win an international event. At the IAAF Diamond League tour in Shanghai, she sails victory with 1.94 m, on countback ahead of Uzbekistan's Nadiya Dusanova. Late June, she wins the national title with 1.94 m. Confident of her recent results, Levern Spencer arrives in Rio de Janeiro with the goal to make her first olympic final, at the age of 32. On August 18th, she competes in the qualifying round of the women's high jump at the Olympics : clearing each bar asked on her first attempt, including 1.94 m, she joins the final and becomes the first Saint-Lucian athlete to do so. Two days later, she finished in an excellent 6th place[13]. The title was won by Spain's Ruth Beitia, who claims the gold at age 37, the oldest woman to win. Back in Saint Lucia, the local population came to celebrate her performance[14]. Two weeks after the Games, she jumps 1.96 m at the Meeting de Paris to place second behind Ruth Beitia[15]. At the end of the season, she finishes second in the IAAF Diamond League tournament, behind Beitia again[16] .

In 2017, her season wasn't her best one. With a best of 1.92 m, she did not make huge results on the world scene through the year. At the 2017 World Championships in London, she is the only Saint-Lucian athlete. She failed to enter into the final, finishing to an agonishing 13th place in the qualifying round[17].

In 2018, she decided to compete in the indoor season. For her first outing, she cleared the Commonwealth Games standard with 1.90 m[18]. On January 27th, she wins the high-jump competition in Hustopeče with 1.93 m, the third best result in the world[19]. Three days later, she equals her national indoor record from 2014 and 2016 in Třinec, jumping 1.95 m and claiming victory[20]. She then raised the bar at 1.97 m but failed[21].

Achievements[edit]

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 (wind: 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

Personal bests[edit]

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

Outdoor progression[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Laurence, Kwame (2 September 2010), Focus on Athletes biographies - Levern Spencer, IAAF 
  2. ^ Biography - SPENCER Levern Donaline, PASO, retrieved January 6, 2015 
  3. ^ Levern Spencer - Biography, Commonwealth Games Federation, retrieved January 6, 2015 
  4. ^ Track & Field - Levern Spencer, Georgia Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs, archived from the original on 6 September 2015, retrieved January 6, 2015 
  5. ^ "Levern Leaps To World #2". www.terryfinisterre.blogspot.com. 9 May 2010. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  6. ^ Sonninen, A-P (2010-08-22). 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 2016-05-01. 
  8. ^ "Glasgow 2014 - Women's High Jump Final". g2014results.thecgf.com. Retrieved 2015-08-17. 
  9. ^ "IAAF: Moreno bids farewell on top, Silva over 4.60m at Central American and Caribbean Games| News | iaaf.org". iaaf.org. Retrieved 2016-05-01. 
  10. ^ "IAAF: Dwyer, Jefferson and Burks the stars of the final day of NACAC Championships| News | iaaf.org". iaaf.org. Retrieved 2016-05-01. 
  11. ^ "IAAF: Tamberi clears world-leading 2.38m in Hustopece – indoor round-up| News | iaaf.org". iaaf.org. Retrieved 2016-05-01. 
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  14. ^ "Saint Lucia celebrates Olympian Levern Spencer". St. Lucia Times News. 2016-08-20. Retrieved 2017-08-03. 
  15. ^ "Levern clears season-best in Diamond League". Retrieved 2016-08-31. 
  16. ^ "Programm / Zeitplan / Resultate - Diamond League - Zurich". zurich.diamondleague.com. Retrieved 2016-09-01. 
  17. ^ Article ([{{fullurl:{{{1}}}|action=edit}} edit] | [[Talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] | [{{fullurl:{{{1}}}|action=history}} history] | [{{fullurl:{{{1}}}|action=protect}} protect] | [{{fullurl:{{{1}}}|action=delete}} delete] | [{{fullurl:Special:Whatlinkshere/{{{1}}}|limit=999}} links] | [{{fullurl:{{{1}}}|action=watch}} watch] | logs | views)
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  21. ^ Article ([{{fullurl:{{{1}}}|action=edit}} edit] | [[Talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] | [{{fullurl:{{{1}}}|action=history}} history] | [{{fullurl:{{{1}}}|action=protect}} protect] | [{{fullurl:{{{1}}}|action=delete}} delete] | [{{fullurl:Special:Whatlinkshere/{{{1}}}|limit=999}} links] | [{{fullurl:{{{1}}}|action=watch}} watch] | logs | views)

External links[edit]

Olympic Games
Preceded by
Zepherinus Joseph
Flagbearer for  Saint Lucia
Beijing 2008
London 2012
Rio de Janeiro 2016
Succeeded by
Incumbent