Ella Arnold breaks AHS Records, Makes it to States

Just this indoor season alone, Ella Arnold broke two junior records and qualified for states in one of her races. She crushed the current Junior year record for the 500 with the time of 1:22.85 seconds on December 17, 2021, and shattered the Junior AHS record in the 1000 on January 14th, 2022 with a state-qualifying time of 3:10:63.  

When Ella broke these records she thought it was “really cool” because our school is so old and she was able to break those records that have been standing for so long and see her name on the leadership board. Ella says she has left her mark and it’s cool to think about when girls see her name in the future they’re going to try and beat her time.

Ella is a junior here at Apex High School. She has been on the cross country and track team since freshman year. Ella has been running for most of her life but her first official time running was during seventh grade on her middle school track team. She ran a mock track meet and then fell in love with running. The Apex Middle school track coach is the one who told her about cross country. She was a bit nervous at first, since it seemed like such a long distance compared to the shorter distances on the track. However, she would later realize that this was one of the best decisions she could ever make. 

 Ella has also been on the soccer team since freshman year, but she has been playing since she was three or four years old. Even though some might think soccer has made it difficult to switch to track, it has actually helped her. Ella said it has given her an “edge” on people because she is able to get in an extra workout and it has a lot of running. This allowed her to transition more smoothly 

Ella has run anything from the 200 to the 1600. She has also ran in some relays. Including the 4×8 at outdoor states, when she was the third leg alongside Addie Fornes, Libby Borchert and Sarah Mitchell. They ended up placing fourth in this realy. The same year she ran in the 4×4 with Addie Fornes, Gracie Treichler and Madelyn Flower. She also placed eighth in the 800. Ella told us that the “800 is my  favorite event because it combines the speed I get from soccer and the endurance I get from long distance.” This always combines something from both of her sports. 

Coach Cooper, one of Ellas coaches over the past three years, said “In my 37 years coaching at Apex High School, we have had a very small number of athletes who have excelled in track & field and soccer. Ella is part of a select group of great runners. Andie Cozzarelli, Alexis Murphy, Kersie Jhabvala, and Joy Nsubuga are a few examples of former outstanding runners who also were soccer greats at Apex. As Ella is now ranked in our top five all-time in the 800 meters, she is carrying on part of a great, yet physically and mentally demanding, tradition.” The coaches are hoping Ella will carry on a demanding tradition. 

When asked what her favorite part about running and practice was, it was hard for Ella to find an answer. She decided it was either the warmup or cool down. She loves running with a large group of people and talking to them. She likes when they all talk about their days and they all say something similar, as well as when she gets to meet new people. 

Something she struggles with when it comes to running is when she is tired and doesn’t want to run, she has to find motivation to run which isn’t always easy. Something she tells herself to stay motivated is that “other people are also tired and they’re going to skip running today, so I need to run today so I can get better.” She pushes through the challenging days and works to make the amazing times she has accomplished. 

Even though many people tell Ella that she doesn’t look nervous before the race, she says internally she is very nervous. To help her calm these nerves she does the same things before each meet. Including showering, eating the same things. She takes deep breaths, warms up and then gives it her all. Ella’s favorite pre-meet meal is a peanut butter sandwich that she always eats three hours before the meet.

Outside of running and soccer Ella is a part of many clubs societies and other things here at Apex Highschool. She is the junior vice president alongside Emma Schwartz. She is also part of DECA and NHS. She loves participating in Apex activities. Ella’s short-term goals are to do well in states, maybe achieving PR (personal record) and setting a new record. And her long-term goals are to get better next year, and hopefully run in college. 

Ella has so much potential and we can’t wait to see how she does at states, and all that she accomplishes in her final year at Apex and in the future. 

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