Ellis, who competes primarily in the 400 and 200, and is also a member of the relay team, also received an offer from Jacksonville State but decided to go with the Hawks because of the environment the school provides as well as the coaching staff.
“I felt like I was home when I walked onto the campus,” she said.
Ellis has had a chance to talk to the head coach at shorter and so far likes what she has heard.
“He said they are a team and everyone works hard but they also have fun, excel, and win championships.”
While at Chapel HIll, Ellis has been a “part time” track athlete for the Panthers because she also competes as a cheerleader, which divides her time. CHHS coach Kelly Williams sees a bright future at Shorter when she transitions into a more “full time” role.
“She is going to a phenomenal program and the next level will be a step up for her,” Williams said. “She is a multi-sport athlete here and we could not get her into the weight room as much as we would have liked. If she commits 100-percent there is no telling what she can do. We expect some great things.”
Before she heads to college, Ellis still has her senior track season to look forward to. Ellis is still recovering from a hip injury which she suffered last season but Williams expects her to be on the podium at the end of the year, preferably near the top.
Ellis describes her time at Chapel Hill as rocky after losing her best friend her freshman year and then battling through a tear in her hip last season and then having surgery. However, she remains optimistic, saying this season she feels she will reach her peak.
Williams has been a guiding light for Ellis on the track team and the athlete refers to her coach as “tough” but also someone who “wants the best for you”.
Ellis has had a full experience at Chapel Hill. Along with competing in track and competition cheerleading, she is also an honor student, a member of the National Honor Society, a member of the French Honor Society, and Vice President of the FCCLA.
Shorter University’s track program is run by Scott Byrd and Rochelle Black, as well as assistant coaches Tom Saint, Martin Hernandez, Alan Quinn, Nik Kay and Piotr Witczak. Shorter is located in Rome, Ga.