Levern Spencer

Athlete Profile

    Saint Lucia Saint Lucia
    23 JUN 1984
High jumper Levern Spencer of St Lucia (Getty Images)

Personal Best - Outdoor

Performance Wind Place Date
200 Metres 24.22 01 JAN 2005
High Jump 1.98 Athens, GA 08 MAY 2010
Long Jump 5.95 +0.7 01 JAN 2005

Personal Best - Indoor

Performance Wind Place Date
High Jump 1.95 Hustopece 13 FEB 2016
High Jump 1.95 Sopot (Ergo Arena) 07 MAR 2014

Progression - Outdoor

200 Metres

Performance Wind Place Date
2005 24.22 01 JAN

High Jump

Performance Place Date
2017 1.92 Baie Mahault 17 MAY
2016 1.96 Paris Saint-Denis (Stade de France) 27 AUG
2015 1.94 Toronto (CIBC) 22 JUL
2015 1.94 Madrid (Moratalaz) 11 JUL
2014 1.96 Athens, GA 12 APR
2013 1.95 Morelia 05 JUL
2012 1.91 Regensburg 02 JUN
2011 1.94 Hengelo (Blankers-Koen Stadion) 29 MAY
2010 1.98 Athens, GA 08 MAY
2009 1.95 Zaragoza 18 JUL
2008 1.93 Athens, GA 19 APR
2007 1.94 Osaka (Nagai Stadium) 31 AUG
2006 1.90 Walnut, CA 15 APR
2005 1.94 Nassau 10 JUL
2004 1.88 St George's 29 MAY
2003 1.86 Port of Spain 21 APR
2003 1.86 St George's 28 MAR
2002 1.83 Kingston (NS), JAM 20 JUL
2002 1.83 Kingston (NS), JAM 19 JUL
2001 1.84 St.George's 27 JUN
2000 1.73 St George's 23 APR

Long Jump

Performance Wind Place Date
2005 5.95 +0.7 01 JAN

Progression - Indoor

High Jump

Performance Place Date
2017 1.91 Des Moines (Drake Fieldhouse), IA 28 APR
2016 1.95 Hustopece 13 FEB
2014 1.95 Sopot (Ergo Arena) 07 MAR
2012 1.88 Istanbul (Ataköy Arena) 09 MAR
2010 1.92 Stockholm 10 FEB
2008 1.90 Clemson, SC 19 JAN
2007 1.89 Fayetteville, AR 09 MAR
2006 1.88 Gainesville, FL 26 FEB

Honours - High Jump

Rank Mark Wind Place Date
IAAF World Championships London 2017 6q1 1.89 London (Olympic Stadium) 10 AUG 2017
The XXXI Olympic Games 6 1.93 Rio de Janeiro (Estádio Olímpico) 20 AUG 2016
IAAF World Indoor Championships 5 1.93 Portland (Oregon Convention Center), OR 20 MAR 2016
15th IAAF World Championships 12 1.88 Beijing (National Stadium) 29 AUG 2015
2nd IAAF Continental Cup 2014 5 1.87 Marrakech (Le Grande Stade) 14 SEP 2014
IAAF World Indoor Championships 2014 7 1.94 Sopot (Ergo Arena) 08 MAR 2014
14th IAAF World Championships 11 1.89 Moskva (Luzhniki) 17 AUG 2013
The XXX Olympic Games 9q2 1.90 London (Olympic Stadium) 09 AUG 2012
IAAF World Indoor Championships 2012 15q1 1.88 Istanbul (Ataköy Arena) 09 MAR 2012
13th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 6q1 1.92 Daegu (DS) 01 SEP 2011
1st IAAF/VTB Bank Continental Cup 2010 3 1.88 Split (Poljud Stadion) 05 SEP 2010
12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 13q1 1.89 Berlin (Olympiastadion) 18 AUG 2009
The XXIX Olympic Games 13q2 1.85 Beijing (National Stadium) 21 AUG 2008
11th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 15 1.90 Osaka (Nagai Stadium) 02 SEP 2007
10th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 12q2 1.84 Helsinki (Olympic Stadium) 06 AUG 2005
IAAF/Coca Cola World Junior Championships 8 1.83 Kingston (NS), JAM 20 JUL 2002
2nd IAAF/Westel World Youth Championships 3 1.81 Debrecen 15 JUL 2001

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Updated 02 September 2010

Levern SPENCER, Saint Lucia (High Jump)
Born: 23 June 1984, Babonneau, Castries, St.Lucia
Lives: Athens, Georgia, USA
Coach: Wayne Norton
Managers: John Regis, Gregory Dickson

Levern Spencer describes herself as “a bit of an introvert”. She will have no choice, though, to be in the spotlight at the IAAF/VTB Bank Continental Cup.

Spencer will represent Americas in the women’s high jump, an event that will also feature Continental Cup poster girl Blanka Vlasic.

Vlasic has been in superb form, and Spencer acknowledges she will be difficult to beat in front of her home crowd.

“My realistic Continental Cup goal is placing after World champion Blanka Vlasic, or if she has a very bad day then defeating her. I have only done that once in my career when she had a very bad day so hopefully history can repeat itself. She has been having another consistent season and looks unbeatable at present, but who knows.”

In May, this year, Spencer established a new St. Lucia record, the Athens, Georgia (USA) resident clearing the bar at 1.98 metres to grab top spot at the Georgia Invitational.

She was also impressive at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games, in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, in late July, the 26-year-old athlete striking gold with a 1.94 metres clearance.

Since that triumph, however, she has lost form. Spencer’s best jump in her last six meets - between 6 August and 1 September – is just 1.88 metres.
“I don't have any particular height in mind [at the Continental Cup] because I have been struggling a bit over the last few meets. Just want to go back to the high 90s and if everything is equal I can perhaps break the 2-metre barrier.”

Spencer definitely has the ability to join the elite 2-metre club. Perhaps, she could have been an elite sprinter as well.

“I got involved in track and field at the primary school level. It is just something that all kids do. My specialty then was sprinting. I realised I was good at sprinting when, even at that level, I was able to not just defeat all my peers but even persons older than I was. The encouragement came from my then coach Leo Amede, teachers and students, family and my home church youth group president Gregory Dickson.”

Spencer has a strong spiritual focus, and though she is now based in the United States, Dickson is part of her management team.

“I never had any idols growing up and I still don't have any, but my local manager, Gregory Dickson has been my mentor for a very long time and still is. I have tried to put into practice what he has taught me because he is also my church leader.”

During her sprinting days, back home in St. Lucia, Spencer enjoyed a victory on the track that would prove to have long term benefits.

“At age 12, when representing my home church at an athletic meet, I defeated a much older national athlete who was one of the best sprinters in St. Lucia at that time. Of course I was elated, and many of my supporters too. This taught me that when you take something seriously and train hard, there is no limit to what you can achieve, and so I have gone through my athletic career with that in mind.”

The lesson has served Spencer well, the St. Lucian doing her island nation proud by earning the right to compete on the biggest sporting stage.

“My biggest achievement to date would have to be qualifying for the Beijing Olympics in 2008, since I am from a small country where just a small pool of athletes have made it to that level. Also, qualifying for the finals of the World Championships, in Osaka, Japan, in 2007, where I had to actually equal my personal best of 1.94 at the time to do so.”

The Beijing experience, however, was bitter-sweet.

“My [biggest] disappointment to date would have to be not qualifying for the finals of the Beijing Olympics because of unfavourable weather conditions. I had come into the competition with high hopes of making the finals since I had been having a very prolific year.”

With a population of just 173,000, St. Lucia is a close-knit society.

“I am encouraged by the fact that it is a small country where everybody knows everybody, so when I am there I meet people on a daily basis who would offer congratulatory remarks and words of encouragement. In St. Lucia I lived in the suburban community of Babonneau which is about 15 minutes drive from the capital, Castries.”

Spencer grabs any opportunity to visit her country.

“My biggest interest outside of track and field is my spiritual life. I am a devout Christian and love to spend time with my church family. Whenever I am in my country of St. Lucia, which is sometimes three times a year, I have a lot of fellowship in church and around my church family. And in Athens, Georgia, where I reside at present, you will find me in church every Sunday.”

Spencer is a standout athlete regionally, capturing CAC titles as well as Pan Am Games bronze. She has also tasted global success. As a 17-year-old, Spencer bagged bronze at the 2001 World Youth (under-18) Championships, in Debrecen, Hungary.

“The people mainly responsible for my success are my high school coach Gregory Lubin in St. Lucia, my current coach Wayne Norton, head coach of the University Of Georgia, Dickson and my mum AnnMarie Spencer.”

Leverne is currently seventh on the 2010 world performance list, thanks to her 1.98 metres national record.

“My biggest goals for 2010 were improving on my personal record, being more competitive on the European circuit and winning gold at the Commonwealth Games in India. I have achieved the first two and now I look forward to the Commonwealth Games in October.”

But, like all elite athletes, the ultimate goal is Olympic success.

“My Olympic dreams are qualifying for the next two Olympics - in 2012 and 2016 - before I retire, and hopefully winning a medal at one of them, something that has not yet been done by anyone from my country.”

Personal Bests
High Jump: 1.98 metres (2010)

Yearly Progression
High Jump: 2000: 1.80; 2001: 1.84; 2002: 1.83; 2003: 1.86; 2004: 1.88; 2005: 1.94; 2006: 1.90; 2007: 1.94; 2008: 1.93; 2009: 1.95; 2010: 1.98

Career Highlights
2001    1st     Carifta Games U20 (Bridgetown)     1.79
2001    3rd      World Youth Championships (Debrecen)   1.81
2001     1st     *CAC Championships (Guatemala City)   1.80
2002     2nd     Carifta Games U20 (Nassau)    1.82
2002     1st      *CAC U20 Championships (Bridgetown)    1.81
2002     8th     World Junior Championships (Kingston)    1.83
2003     2nd    Carifta Games U20 (Port-of-Spain)    1.86 
2003     2nd     Pan Am Junior Championships (Bridgetown)    1.83
2003      5th     Pan Am Games (Santo Domingo)   1.83
2004     2nd     **NACAC Under-23 Championships (Sherbrooke)  1.85
2005     1st     *CAC Championships (Nassau)  1.94       
2006     5th      Commonwealth Games (Melbourne)  1.83    
2006    1st      ** NACAC Under-23 Championships (Santo Domingo)  1.81      
2006     3rd      *CAC Games (Cartagena)    1.88       
2007     1st      **NACAC Championships (San Salvador)  1.89     
2007     3rd      Pan Am Games (Rio de Janeiro) 1.87
2007     15th     World Championships (Osaka)  1.90        
2008      1st       *CAC Championships (Cali)   1.91
2009     1st      *CAC Championships (Havana)  1.91
2010      1st      *CAC Games (Mayaguez)   1.94 

* CAC = Central American & Caribbean
**NACAC = North America, Central America & Caribbean

Prepared by Kwame Laurence for the IAAF “Focus on athletes” project. Copyright IAAF 2010