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Published May 15 2012

Moorhead's Ellingson finds a route to success

Moorhead - This particular bit of wisdom has done so much for Glen Ellingson this year: Everyone can go out and run. But you have to do things other people aren’t going to do to get better.

That statement from Ellingson sums up his perspective on this season, which has left the Moorhead senior at a crossroads.

He’s learning more about being a smarter runner and how to use strategy to his advantage. Ellingson’s also learning about

the expectations that come with being a defending state

champion.

A year ago, he shocked Minnesota by winning the state title by one-hundredth of a second in the thrilling 3,200-meter run. Ellingson chased down the leaders with 300 meters left and dove forward to win the race.

As he continues his progression, he also plays the role of the guy other runners want to beat.

It’s quite a turnaround for Ellingson, who in three years went from being a fringe runner at Moorhead to a state champion.

“I really love the team we have,” Ellingson said. “Because if things don’t go well (at a track meet) with them, I can just be one of the guys.”

Assistant track coach Jeremy Blake is the man who guides distance runners at Moorhead. He is also the school’s cross country coach.

Blake said Ellingson’s season actually started last summer with all the miles he ran.

“You started to see how much better he was becoming during cross country season,” Blake said. “You could see the work he was putting in was helping him out.”

Blake said Ellingson has become more “tactical” with his approach this season.

He said it stemmed from how he won a state title last year.

Before Ellingson won state, Blake told his pupil to stick with the leaders, but when he found an opening, go for it.

“I follow what my coaches tell me to do,” Ellingson said. “Because what I’ve come to realize is my coaches are smart people, and if I follow what they have to say, it usually works out.”

Blake points out that it’s about the kids and how much work they put into getting better.

But there is something he does tell his runners – including Ellingson – every day at practice.

“I tell them to eat well, sleep well and dream well,” Blake said. “Control what only you can control. There are things like how another person runs, which is out of your control.”

Ellingson, who will run next season at Augustana, has learned that this year.

He’s learned to not get sucked into the talk about repeating as a state champion.

If anything, he’s trying to focus on the task at hand. That task is learning to get better.

“I’ve seen so much growth in Glen from the time he started with us,” Blake said. “He went from someone who could barely walk and chew gum at the same time to someone who in four or five years could really be an even more impressive runner.”


Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548.

Clark’s Force blog can be found at slightlychilled.areavoices.com