Created: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 9:35 p.m. CDT
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Marengo's Allie Sprague commits to South Carolina for track, cross country

Marengo's Allie Sprague runs to first place in the 800-meter final during the 2012 McHenry County Track & Field Meet in Crystal Lake. Sprague committed Tuesday to attend South Carolina and run track and cross country. (Shaw Media file photo)

Initially, Allie Sprague did not give the recruitment letter from the University of South Carolina much thought.

Then, the Marengo senior figured she would take a few minutes and fill it out, as she had with surveys from so many other schools.

Sprague, a three-time state track medalist, was glad she did. She committed Tuesday to South Carolina to run cross country and track and will sign her NCAA National Letter of Intent soon. The signing period for those sports started Feb. 5 and runs through April 1.

Sprague, who was Class 2A runner-up in the 1,600 meters, chose South Carolina over Nebraska and Notre Dame.

“I ended up going there on my last official visit,” said Sprague, who used all her five visits. “I am so excited. I loved everything about all three of those schools. South Carolina was different with the location. I kind of wanted to get out of the Midwest.”

Sprague finished behind teammate Katie Adams last year in the 1,600 and was fourth in the 800. She took fifth in the Class 2A 800 as a sophomore. Last fall, she picked up her first cross country state medal taking 25th.

Sprague will receive partial scholarships for both sports and also will receive academic scholarship money. She ranks seventh in Marengo’s senior class.

“It’s so awesome. I could not have imagined this before,” Sprague said. “I’ve been blessed at Marengo with great coaching, and supportive teammates and parents [Kevin and Ann].”

Sprague battled through some stress fracture foot issues in her junior cross country season and was 46th at state in 2012. She came back strong for track with two top-four finishes.

“After my sophomore year, I started thinking about [college] more,” she said. “I began looking at different divisions and where I might fit in and I thought I might be able to make it to Division I.”