NCAA Champ Neely Spence Joins Hansons-Brooks Team
BOTHELL, Wash. - With a storied college career that includes eight NCAA Division II national championships, Neely Spence is joining the professional running ranks. After forgoing her senior season on the track, Spence set her sights on Olympic glory and has chosen the elite running group Hansons-Brooks Original Distance Project (ODP) and leading footwear company Brooks Sports to help her reach her goals.
“I have spent the last few months visiting training groups and talking to both coaches and athletes, looking for the right professional environment that can help take my performances to the next level,” said Spence. “The dynamic of the team and coaches, the incredible amount of support, the common goal of a long and successful career, and enthusiasm for bringing me on board are all reasons why I am so excited about joining the Hansons-Brooks ODP.”
Now with a contract signed, Spence will make the move to Rochester Hills, Mich., to ramp up her training for the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials in June.. There she will vie for an Olympic spot in both the 5K and 10K. If she earns a spot on the team, she will join fellow Hansons-Brooks ODP teammate Desi Davila, who punched her ticket to the games at the Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston in January.
"We are extremely excited to bring an athlete the caliber of Neely Spence into the Hansons-Brooks family,” said Kevin Hanson. “We feel that she has the ability to race with the best females in the U.S. and will make an excellent teammate and training partner for our other female athletes.”
Spence spent her last four years as a stand-out runner at Shippensburg University where she earned six track and field and two cross country Division II NCAA national championship titles and four NCAA Division II records. In professional competition, she placed seventh at last year’s USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships and was the top collegiate runner in the race.
“At Brooks, it is important to us to champion young professional athletes who are the future of our sport,” said Jesse Williams, Brooks sports marketing manager. “We are extremely excited to have Neely join the Brooks team. She is a talented young runner with amazing potential and we look forward to cheering her on as she takes this next step in her career.”
Brooks Sports, Inc. is a leading running company that designs and markets a line of performance footwear, apparel, and accessories in more than 60 countries worldwide. A subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Brooks was founded in 1914 and is headquartered in Bothell, Wash., near Seattle. The company’s mission is to inspire everyone to run and be active by creating innovative gear that keeps them running longer, farther, and faster. Visit www.brooksrunning.com for more information, and follow frequent brand updates on Twitter (@brooksrunning) and Facebook (www.Facebook.com/brooksrunning).
About the Hansons-Brooks Original Distance Project
Brothers Keith and Kevin Hanson founded the Hansons-Brooks Original Distance Project (ODP) in 1999 with the goal to revive American distance running. Recruiting post-collegiate runners nationwide, the Hansons-Brooks ODP gives these athletes the rare opportunity to live, work, and run together in a supportive, training-focused environment founded on team principals. Based in Rochester Hills, Mich., the team currently consists of 14 athletes – 8 men and 6 women. For more on the team, visit http://www.hansons-running.com/category/athlete-news/