Ellens falls short at State

Ellens+falls+short+at+State

Countdown to Prom

by Taylor Burns

“[I was] no where near where I wanted to be, but I’m happy for the opportunity,” senior Chris Ellens said.

After a season of hard work and dedication, Ellens took the cross country course for the last time of his high school career. This time, it was in Fort Dodge at the State meet on Oct. 29. Ellens’ personal record was 16:34, but on Saturday he ran a 17:01, which put him in 16th place. Unfortunately, this was one place away from medaling.

“[I’m] not sure why I ran slower. My muscles were a little sore and maybe [I had] some pressure, but I gave it all I had,” Ellens said.

All classes ran separately. In class 2A, 140 boys ran.

“I knew at the one and a half mile mark that something was not right,” Head Coach Eric Karr said. “Every runner, at some point in their career, has a race where their body doesn’t cooperate. This happened to be his one and only time. His body tried to quit numerous times, but his heart and mind are strong…For Chris to push so hard was amazing.”

Last year, as a junior, Ellens made it to State. He finished in 72nd place in 18:06, so even though it wasn’t his best this year, he still took off a minute in one year, which Karr said “is remarkable.”

“Next year, we return a lot of talented runners. We keep doing what we always do. We work hard, we stay positive and we do the best we can every day,” Karr said. “If we do that, we will continue the tradition Rachel Stafford started of going to State.”

Chris does plan to run cross country in college, but he isn’t sure where yet.

“I’ve never witnessed such improvement in a runner in my entire life. He is the hardest working, most dedicated runner I have ever worked with. I am forever changed by what Chris has given to me and PCM,” Karr said.

Ellens isn’t quite done yet, though. He will be competing Saturday, Nov. 5 at All-State in Ankeny. This is for seniors who have ran under a certain time. On Saturday, Nov. 12, Ellens will run in the Nike Heartland Invitational in Souix Falls, S.D. “for fun” he says.