Athlete Spotlight: Ellie Friesen Signs with SDSU

Ellie Friesen knows this track season could finally be her turn to bring home a win at the Iowa State High School Track & Field Championships. With Assumption's Joy Ripslinger dominating the middle and long distance events at least year's State meet, Friesen came home with two 2nd-place and one 3rd-place finishes, an already impressive repertoire. But with Ripslinger off competing for the University of Arkansas, Friesen has an opportunity to add to her many All-State honors and bring home a win for Crestwood. Just after the end of the cross country season, Friesen announced she would be signing a letter of intent to compete for South Dakota State University. Read on to find out how she made her decision and other thoughts she has about the recruiting process.

What are you goals for your final high school track season?
As usual my main goal is to remain healthy physically and mentally during my final high school season. I have yet to win a state title and following last years performance that is also the main goal towards the end of the season. 

What schools were you considering for your collegiate career?
My final decision came down to South Dakota State and the University of Nevada, there were other schools as well but those were the main two I was interested in.

Did you take any visits? If so, what was that like?
I went on two official visits to SDSU and Nevada. I went on un-officials to Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa State. I truly enjoyed the opportunity to visit different colleges and figure out which was the best match for me. I spent the most time focusing on what the coaches and athletes were like at each school because I know the value of having a coaches and teammates that respect you not only as an athlete but as a person. 

How did you end up picking South Dakota State?
The moment I left my official visit from SDSU, I knew I could see myself calling it home. The team and coach had a huge impact on my decision and I could tell they cared about my goals as a runner and a student. The next weekend I visited Nevada and enjoyed that as well. However, having to fly home each time I came back to Iowa made the decision to commit to SDSU so much easier. SDSU made the commitment process very simple for me and worked with my family and I to make sure everything was clear.

How have your family and friends responded to your commitment?
Both my mom and dad attended SDSU as athletes- Lisa my mom as a volleyball player and my dad Myron as a football and track athlete. They were very excited to have one of their children also attend SDSU. My other siblings were very excited and my coaches, friends, and teammates supported my decision. I knew whichever college I decided on, that all my family and friends would be supportive and excited for the opportunities that lay ahead of me.

What are you planning to study in college?
In college I plan to study psychology in order to be a sports psychologist and get a minor in nutrition.

What are you most looking forward to about competing at the collegiate level?
I am most looking forward to being part of a new team with girls that I can train with all year long. It will be exciting to have teammates to always run with and work together to make each other better. I am also looking forward to what I can accomplish since I will now being training full time in the winter with the collegiate indoor season instead of basketball. 

What would you like future potential recruits to know about SDSU?
SDSU made a clear point that they cared about my goals and that their efforts to help me achieve them would be easily noticed. They have a great training philosophy and the girls and coaches take great pride in lifting one another up. I think others should look at the opportunities SDSU has to offer due to their coaches, athletes, education, and their new indoor track facility. I can't wait to make SDSU my home.