Ella Auderset might be the most talented high school runner currently in the state of Maryland, but is she running cross country? She didn't last fall and we were hoping based off the phenomenal track season which she had showcased her range to run fast at 400 meters in 56 seconds as well as 3200 meters in 11:37.
She pulled off an incredible triple with limited rest at the Frederick County Championships in May winning the 1600, 400, and 800. Her best event certainly was the 800 though as she topped out with a 2:11 performance at New Balance Nationals Outdoor as well as challenged Abbey Green all the way down to the wire at the state meet in a 2:13 runner-up performance. Most impressive was fact that she achieved all of this while only being a freshmen at Urbana.
WATCH: Ella Auderset's runner-up finish in 4A girls 500 indoor state race in a 1:16.35 PR.
We learned today that Auderset will not be lacing up the spikes for the fall season and instead will be playing soccer once again for her school soccer team at Urbana. She'll be back in action though for the indoor and outdoor season as arguably one of the state's top returning middle distance runners. Auderset did give up club soccer in the spring, so that she can focus more of her time on track.
MileSplit.com was able to interview the rising sophomore Auderset on her decision to still commit to soccer in the fall, reflect on her amazing freshmen year, and get to know more one of the state's bright young stars in track & field.
Q&A Interview with Urbana's Ella Auderset
MileSplitMD: How did you first get involved with running?
Ella Auderset: I've always enjoyed running but when my sister did XC and track her freshman year, I saw how much she loved it which made me want to run as well
MileSplitMD: Did you have any idea heading into high school that you could be this good at running? Did you run much prior to 9th grade?
Before 9th grade, I would occasionally do a 5k and my county would always have a middle school track meet and mile every year. So I had some goals but I definitely didn't think that I would be this good at running.
MileSplitMD: What advice has your older sister given you over this first year of running? Similar to you, she made a strong impression as a freshmen.
Ella Auderset: She's always told me that I should be enjoying running and that if it gets to a point where I'm not enjoying it that I need to step back. That's probably what I think about the most. Also, to not overwork myself to avoid injuries, and to remember that everyone around me, my coaches and teammates, are supporting me so don't stress out too much.
MileSplitMD: When you first started out running track this past year...did you view yourself more as a sprinter or distance runner and why?
Ella Auderset: I wasn't really sure what I viewed myself more of but at the beginning of the season I wanted to be a sprinter, but also run the mile. I guess I probably thought that way because in the other sports that I had played before, soccer and basketball, I had always been know for being fast for short distances, so I assumed that I would be a sprinter. But, at the same time, I've always liked running the mile for some reason so I wanted to do that too.
MileSplitMD: At what point of the track season did you feel your confidence in your ability growing stronger that you could not only become of the best in your county, but one of the better middle distance runners in the state?
Ella Auderset: At counties when I ran the 1600, 800, and 400 and had solid times in all of them I started to think that I might be able to do well at states. Then again at regionals, after being switched to 2A, I was put in a slow heat for the 800 and the 400 and I ran my best time of the season for both of them and I felt like I could've gone faster. That's when I really thought that I could do some damage at states in middle distances.
MileSplitMD: What is your favorite event of all to run and why? Which is your least favorite?
Ella Auderset: The 800 is my favorite because I've started to find that although it hurts so bad when you run it, I feel the most accomplished after it. My least favorite is the 3200 because at CMC's I almost fainted after it and that's not the best feeling.
WATCH: Ella Auderset running a 11:37 3200 PR with a heat index approaching 100 degrees at CMC Championships.
MileSplitMD: The Urbana squad is deep with a lot of great runners who have accomplished a lot as well as such as Brin Strouse and Mary Miller among others. How helpful has it been to have those type of runners to train with as well as be part of a successful program?
Ella Auderset: It has been super helpful, especially in distance races, to have people like Brin and Mary to run with. We push each other a lot because even though everyone is so supportive of each other, there is always a great level of competition on the team. During workouts, everyone pushes each other and supports each other which has allowed our team to have a lot of depth and success. If I drop down to do workouts with the sprinters or move up to do workouts with the distance runners, I know that there will always be people pushing me to be the best runner I can be.
MileSplitMD: Talk about your 2:11 performance at outdoor nationals in the 800. How did the race unfold for you to run such a fast time? Were you shocked by the performance?
Ella Auderset: The day before that race I had ran the freshman 400 and had not performed the way that I wanted to. So before the 800 I was really motivated to perform well and end the season on a good note. For the race, I sort of ran it like I did at states and I trusted myself when I felt the pace was too fast.
By the end of the race I had a whole lot of adrenaline and I was just super excited about my time. I was shocked by my performance and especially that I actually placed, but going into it 2:11 was my goal, I just never thought I would reach that goal.
But being able to compete against such experienced and fast runners was what pushed me to get that time.
What is your training like at Urbana? What's a normal week like for you during the track season? Do you much running/training at all in the off season during the summer and fall?
Ella Auderset: A normal week for me during the track season is usually two or three workouts, long runs and then a meet. My coach usually gives us the day after a meet off. Throughout the season this year, we also went into the weight room multiple times. After nationals, I had two weeks off, but during the off season I've continued to run mostly to prepare for my soccer season. My coach has also talked to me about increasing the amount of weight work I do so during the off-season and fall I will continue to do that along with occasional long runs. But overall, both he and I believe that it's good to take some time off of running so that I don't overwork myself. There are too many athletes that get stress fractures or other injuries from overuse.
MileSplitMD: How important is soccer to you and how good are you at compared to track? Do you think there will be point down the road that you will eventually have to give up one sport for the other or do you plan to do both throughout high school?
Ella Auderset: Soccer is very important to me and I have been playing this all my life. My high school team last year made it states where we got second in 4A, so I guess I would say I'm good at it lol. Compared to track, I am definitely ranked higher in track. Down the road I might have to give up one sport, depending if I want to continue athletics in college. The main thing for me would be if one sport allows me to get more financial aid. At this point, I want to do whatever gives me a better chance to get into a good school and keep costs low for my parents. However, that decision is far down the road so for now I want to continue doing both.
MileSplitMD: What would you say is your greatest strength as a runner and what would you say is the area that you would like to improve upon the most over the next 3 years of high school?
Ella Auderset: I think my greatest strength as a runner is being able to know when I can push myself and knowing how to pace in some of the longer races. The area I would like to improve on over the next three years would probably be getting stronger physically. I'm still smaller than a lot of runners so gaining more muscle would help me not get pushed around as much and avoid getting boxed in.
5 Fun Facts About You:
1. Go to pre-race meal?
I usually have pasta (like a lot runners haha).
2. Any pre-race superstitions or rituals?
Every race I wear my lucky dinosaur socks and most of the time blue pre wrap.
3. Top 3 songs on your playlist?
"High Hopes" by P!ATD, "8TEEN" by Khalid, and "Saturday" Sun by Vance Joy.
4. Favorite subject in school?
5. Any hidden talents or facts about yourself people would be surprised to know?
I play the piano, guitar, and ukulele (not well but I try).