Ellingson, Bak place at Nationals


by Nicole Dillenburg

Representing Simpson College at the national indoor track and field meet is not anything new to senior Catie Ellingson and junior Kinsey Bak.

Ellingson placed 5th in the indoor mile with the time of 4:59.79. This is Ellingson’s 4th time receiving all-America honors in track and field.

In 2009, Ellingson’s freshman year, she placed 5th in the indoor 800 and 5th in the outdoor 1500. In 2010, she went on to place second in the 1500 and receive all-American honors in cross-country.

“It’s an honor to be able to compete and place as an all-American,” Ellingson said.

Regardless of the time, Ellingson expects nothing but the best from herself.

“I was disappointed in how the race unfolded, and my efforts,” Ellingson said.

Bak on the other hand cleared 5-5 ¼ on her second try, which resulted in a three-way tie for 4th place. This is Bak’s second all-America honors for indoor high jump and her 3rd overall. In 2010, Bak placed 3rd for indoor high jump and 5th in outdoors.

Having this type of previous experience allowed Bak to become more relaxed this time around.

“Being there for a few years has made all the difference with how comfortable I have gotten with it,” Bak said.

Placing as an all-American is what Bak was striving for.

“Coming home with some hardware is what I wanted, and what I got,” Bak said. “It also makes me feel better knowing that I was going in seeded 6th, and came out 4th so improving my position was a big deal for me as well.”

Coach Dave Cleveland made sure that he helped keep the athletes relaxed and in their routine because it is important for them to keep doing what got them there. Cleveland also is very pleased with Ellingson and Bak’s performance.

“I am very proud of both Kinsey and Catie’s performances at the national meet,” Cleveland said. “They both competed very hard and like NCAA veterans.”

The outdoor season kicks right into gear, being that it starts right after spring break. The first meet is April 2 at Wartburg.

Bak is looking forward to the outdoor season because they now have a proper facility to practice on.

Unfortunately, Ellingson is currently injured, but she hopes to accomplish her goal for the outdoor season by running her best time at the end of the season.

Cleveland believes that both athletes will certainly use their experiences at nationals in order to help spring board them into the outdoor season.

With seven years combined experience and the many awards and achievements these two have received, both athletes have high hopes of reaching the goals they have set for themselves.