We Salute Ellena Layton, St. Marys High School

Name: Ellena Layton 

School: St. Marys High School 

Q: What does your training look like right now given the current situation?

A: After hearing the news I was immediately in shock. Knowing I won't have that track fit body this year is a little disappointing not going to lie. But giving the situations we are here to deal with I decided to try some at home workouts. Twice a day I at least get out of the house and go for a walk. Other than the walks I do some workouts that I look up on YouTube or workouts the track coach sends us once a day. 

Q: What are you doing to stay busy other than run right now?

A: Other than keeping active I am doing tons of improvements around the house hoping we still have a graduation! 

Q: What was your most memorable race/moment?

A: To me, every race has a memorable moment. No two race is the same but it's just how you decide to look at it as memorable. The year I believe I really shined was my sophomore year. This year I was given the opportunity to run with two seniors (Jasmine Hurla, Logan Hurla) and a junior (Reagan Hurla). Running with this group of girls was something I looked forward to every meet. Just like any runner you get the nerves that freak you out to the point where you don't even know if you're capable of running the race. Aside from the nerves these girls always made sure I was prepared to run and always had a way of calming me down. Before most races we'd listen to "Rockabye" and run up and down the field a few times. When we were all finished up with the race they would come over and tell me how proud they were of me. This was my favorite moment because in times like that I was learning from them of how to just be confident which made me more confident for my junior season. 

Q: What was the funniest thing that happened during your running career?

A: There's been plenty of funny moments but one of my favorites occurred on a rainy track meet. I was running the 4x4 and as I was passing the girl on the curve of the last 100m she splashed mud from her shoes up into my face and right into my mouth. This was funny to me because nobody knew why I was making the most disgusting faces but once I told them everyone got a kick out of it. 

Q: Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?

A: I think my biggest competition each year was my own teammates. Our coach strives hard on "your spot could get taken at any moment" which is something that made me a little more competitive. Knowing I have a spot in a relay that could get taken at any moment was motivation to work hard. 

Q: What was your greatest accomplishment?

A: The greatest accomplishment for me was breaking the school records. Although I didn't break any personal records such as (100m, 200m, 400m) I did break relay races with a group of girls that I couldn't have done it without!  

Q: If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?

A: I say this to my coach after every state race that I've ran and it's something I regret and look back on a lot. I wish I would've gave more of my all on the track. I wish that my nerves didn't get the best of me and I wish I would've ran better than I did.  

Q: What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

A: The most difficult obstacles for me would be understanding that there is going to be someone better than you. There's always going to be someone who can run the race .1 faster than you or jump 2 more inches and it's okay. Not going to state for jumping really disappointed me in so many ways. But with not jumping the best I could I was always there to help cheer on the girl (Jaylee Hurd) who went to state and keeping her ready to jump at state. 

Q: What will you miss the most?

A: The bonds is something I'll miss the most out of everything. Don't get me wrong having a fit body and beating records is an amazing feeling but those bonds mean so much more. 

Q: What advice would you give to younger athletes?

A: Don't take anything for granted, if I would've known state was my last time running I would've gave it more of my all. 

Q: What kind of an impact has your coach had on you and your team?

A: Alex Mconogy is someone who deserves so much. He's such an amazing coach and sees potential in all people. He's trained us in ways none of us could think and he knows how to prepare you for the races.

Q: What are your college plans?

A: I plan on attending K-State in August 2020 and majoring in Social Work. 

Q: Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?

A: There's so many people that deserve thank you's. My coach, my teammates, the people who work state track. But personally I would like to thank my parents. They always made a way to come support me even on the cold track meets. 

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

A: Nope! Just to tell the athletes in the future not to take anything for granted. 

Q: Favorite Meal?

A: Even though this isnt a gourmet meal I'm a lover of Chick-Fil-A nuggets, I could eat them everyday. 

Q: If you could be any animal what would you choose? and why?

A: I would choose to be an elephant. I've always loved elephants because they're so majestic and just have a way of making everyone laugh.  

Q: Your favorite superhero?

A: I would say my favorite superhero is spider-man