Katie Spencer | Millard South High School | Age 18
In elementary school, Katie was one of the fastest in her grade, always performing well in the mile. She joined cross country in middle school where her interest in running grew. She’d come home from practice and go for another run on her own.
Then the summer before 7th grade her parents took her to buy a pair of running shoes. She spotted a pair of gray shoes with blaze orange soles—Nike Lunar Glides. Buying those shoes was a pivotal moment and motivated her to pursue her interest in track even further.
The following year Katie won the district track meet in the 1600m with a time of 6:02. The record was 5:25 and she wanted to beat it, setting her goal at 5:20. She asked her father for help. He bought books on training a young runner and joined a fitness center where he trained with her all winter at the indoor track, eventually adding plyometrics to her program.
The next spring she won the 1600m again—and beat the record with a time of 5:22. Since then Katie has gone on to hold the 7th spot all-time Nebraska in the 1600m and 5th all-time Nebraska in the 3200m. But that first accomplishment would never be forgotten.
In high school Katie trained under Millard South Coach Dustin Llewellyn and regularly ran with the boys cross country team. She and “her boys” as she referred to them helped push each other to become better and faster and the boys’ team won the Cross Country State Championship in 2013.
Katie has been on the Metro All Academic Track and Cross Country teams; the Super State Cross Country team; NCPA Academic All-State selection; GOSC Female Cross Country Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2015; Fall Gold Honor Roll three years, AP Scholar with Honor, and Millar South All Around Student.
Katie’s activities off the track include Math and Science Club, Leo Club, Patriot Mentor, and National Honor Society. She was also a Mindbender Master at the Durham Museum, a Small Group Leader at Youth Frontiers, volunteered at the Timberlake Outreach Center and the Set Me Free Ministries, as well as helps with all Millard South track and field junior varsity and varsity invites. In the fall Katie will attend Oklahoma State University where she will run both cross country and track and field.
Katie is the daughter of Cliff and Kristi Spencer. She has an older sister, Emma, who was graduated from the University of Nebraska Lincoln with a double major in Chemistry and Spanish.