Illini lose top track athletes to Texas

The loss of track coach Tonja Buford-Bailey to the University of Texas has not surprisingly cost Illinois two of its leading athletes, including two-time NCAA 400-meter champion Ashley Spencer of Indianapolis.

Texas announced Wednesday that both Spencer, a rising junior, and Morolake Akinosun of Aurora, a rising sophomore, are transferring to join Buford-Bailey in Austin.

Both become immediately eligible, according to a Texas spokesperson.

Spencer and Akinosun each had tweeted her shock when it was announced June 26 that Buford-Bailey, an Illinois grad, was leaving after 10 years as Illini women'a head coach to become associate coach at Texas.

"Feels like I got punched in my chest," Spencer wrote.

"It's like the ground dropped out from under me," said Waubonsie Valley product Akinosun.

Wednesday, Spencer posted a picture of herself in Texas burst orange.

Spencer made the U.S. tram for next month's World Championships by finishing third in the 400 at the U.S. nationals.

Akinosun, 2013 Big Ten champion at 60 meters, is second fastest 100-meter runner in Illini history. 





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