HOPKINSSPORTS.COM Ellie Clawson finished first on Sunday.
This past Sunday, the Hopkins women’s cross country team traveled to Gettysburg, Pa. for the Centennial Conference Championship.
In what will surely go down as a historic day, the Jays won their 10th straight Centennial Conference title and placed all seven runners in the top 25.
With four runners walking away with first-team All-Conference honors, this week’s title could go to any number of athletes. For her first place finish in a field of 100 runners, though, this week’s Athlete of the Week is junior Ellie Clawson.
Clawson has been an integral part of the women’s cross-country team for quite some time now. Last season, she was named to the All-Centennial Conference Second Team for her 10th-place finish in the Conference Championship.
She also garnered All-Regional honors in her sophomore season. This season’s meets have brought about another slew of accomplishments and personal bests.
Placing third in the Pre-Nationals meet in early October, Clawson led the Jays in their first place victory at Principia College. Earlier this year she also achieved a personal best in the Paul Short Run with a time of 20:41 in the 6K.
This weekend, with an impressive time of 21:17.8, Clawson became the eighth Centennial Conference individual winner for the Jays. In the process, the junior star earned not only first team honors, but she was also named the Centennial Conference Runner of the Year.
Following this stellar performance, Clawson discussed with The News-Letter what the Centennial Conference Championship meant for the women’s cross country program.
The News-Letter: Does the team have any pre-race superstitions? Alternatively, how do you handle pre-race jitters?
Ellie Clawson:We are not very superstitious, although we have certain songs that we play before all of our races, some of which include “Rake it Up,” “Perm” and “Unwritten.” Listening to music and just keeping it fun helps us a lot with pre-race jitters too.
N-L:How excited was the team to win their 10th straight Centennial Conference Championship this weekend?
EC: So excited! We have a super tight team this year, so getting that win together meant a lot. We are hoping to keep this winning streak going in meets and years to come.
N-L: Going into the race, how did you feel about your chances? Did you have any idea you would be a contender to win the race?
EC: My sister, Kenna, asked me the week [before the race] what my goal was, and that was actually the first time I thought about it. I then realized that it was possible that I could win, so I kept that as a goal in the back of my mind and stuck with it.
N-L:How did it feel to be named Centennial Conference Runner of the Year?
EC: Pretty incredible. When I started running here as a freshman, even at the beginning of this season, I never would’ve thought that I could come close to being Runner of the Year.
What really made that moment special though was being surrounded by my favorite people in the world: my team (my second family), my coaches and my actual family.
Those are the amazing people I run for, and I honestly could not have won without everyone’s support. My mom and sister actually flew all the way from Seattle to watch, and my sister surprised me! I had no idea she was coming.
N-L: Moving forward, do you have any personal goals for the remainder of the season?
EC:I just want to keep doing everything I can to help this team be successful.
I want to finish these last couple races knowing I gave everything I could, hopefully finishing with the top group of women in both races.