Ellie Shea Race Videos

2021 Adidas Boost Boston Games- HS Girls Dream Mile

2021 Brooks PR Girls Mile

2021 NSAF Outdoor Nationals Girls 5000m

2022 BU Last Chance Womens 3000m

2022 New Balance Nationals Indoor Championship 5000m

2022 New Balance Nationals Indoor Championship 5000m

2022 New Balance Nationals Indoor Championship Mile

Ellie Shea

Name: Ellie Shea
Hometown: Belmont, MA
School: Belmont High School
Graduation Year: 2024
Date of Birth: September 6, 2005
Height: 5'4"
Weight:
106 lbs.
Email: elliesheausa@gmail.com
GPA: Available upon request
SAT/ACT: Available upon request

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About

Ellie has always loved to participate in sports, even from a young age. She played soccer and lacrosse for the town of Belmont in early elementary school and joined a youth track program in second grade. Ellie immediately loved running. She continued to run while also competing in club and town soccer, lacrosse and raced alpine skiing for Cranmore Mountain in New Hampshire.

On the cross country trails, Ellie capped off her middle school career with a win at the Mayor’s Cup at Franklin Park, setting the course record, and an All American distinction at USATF XC Nationals in 2019. But it is on the track that Ellie really has found her passion. After being off the track for over a year due to COVID, Ellie is excited to be back.

Ellie is a senior at Belmont High School. In addition to running, Ellie is hoping to participate in a triathlon. She also loves to do anything outside, including hiking, biking, swimming and skiing (both nordic and alpine).

              
              
              

Outdoor 2021- Freshman

After posting early season PR’s in the mile (4:51.81) and two mile (10:25.79) at the Ocean State Running Invitationals in Providence, Ellie was invited to the adidas Boost Boston Games as one of 10 high school girls to compete in the adidas Girls Dream Mile. Not wanting to waste this opportunity to race some of the best milers from around the country right here in Boston, Ellie was eager to go head-to-head against this great field that was coming to Boston to race her! The course was a USATF-certified winding 804m out-and-back loop with a tight u-turn at halfway.

Ellie’s efforts were rewarded with a shiny new mile PR of 4:45.42, a 6-second PR over her 4:51.79 four weeks earlier at the Ocean State Running Invitational on April 24. Ellie’s mark is the Massachusetts state record for the freshman girls mile for all surfaces.

Ellie Shea and Emerging Elites teammate Margot Appleton raced together at the USATF Mini Meet #3 at Gordon College on Saturday, June 5. Ellie was aiming to get into a faster race and compete with two of the best athletes in the country. Ellie ran a swift 10:10.49 for 2 Miles, breaking the MA state record held by Ari Lambie since 2003. Ellie ran a 3000m FAT en route in 9:30.64. A special thanks to USATF New England for having a FAT camera set up at 3000m.

Ellie accepted an invite from Brooks to the Brooks PR Invitational in Seattle and decided to race the Girls Mile. She was the only freshman invited. Amid smoke cannons and an elaborate introduction, twelve girls took the line for the start of the mile at the Brooks PR Invitational. Eager to improve her track mile PR of 4:51 and her overall mile PR of 4:45 from the adidas Girls Dream Mile, Ellie was excited to race the top milers from across the country. Getting out well and racing on the rail, Ellie was rewarded with a new 2 second PR of 4:43.73 and took 5th place. Buoyed with a new mile PR, Ellie turned her focus to racing well the next day at the NSAF Outdoor Nationals presented by Nike in Eugene, Oregon.

Entered in the Championship 5000m, 2 Mile and Mile, Ellie had lots of options for what she wanted to race at the NSAF Outdoor Nationals. She decided to make her 5000m debut at Hayward Field. Racing with fellow Emerging Elites teammate Margot Appleton and Caroline Wells of Florida, who both raced the Brooks PR Mile the prior day in Seattle, this trio quickly gained separation from the field by passing through the opening 1600m in 5:08, 3000m in 9:42 and 3200m in 10:21. Their 3200m time was only 2 seconds slower than the winning time of 10:19.95 for the Girls Championship 2 mile held later on Saturday afternoon and they still had 1800m of racing! Ellie made her move with 1200m remaining and really pushed the final kilometer at Hayward Field. Ellie raced to the line and accelerated through the winner’s breaktape, running 16:10.42 to win the Championship 5000m in her 5000m debut! Ellie’s last 1600m was covered in 5:10.

Ellie’s 5000m National Championship capped off an amazing freshman track season. With COVID forcing the MIAA to reschedule the Division and All State meets at the end of June just prior to the Brooks PR Invitational and NSAF Outdoor Nationals, Ellie made the decision to forgo the MIAA meets to focus on racing well at Brooks and NSAF Outdoor Nationals. Ellie was rewarded with a 2 second mile PR at Brooks PR and a smashing 5000m debut at Hayward Field. In addition to winning the national championship and earning All-American honors, Ellie broke Kim Gallagher’s 42-year freshman class record of 16:34.7h in 1979 by an astounding 24 seconds. Ellie also set the age 15 National 5000m age group record, Hayward Field facility record, #2 All-time Massachusetts, #3 All-time New England, #2 All-time at NSAF Outdoor Nationals, and #12 All-time High School Outdoor 5000m. Her 16:10.42 is also faster than the age 16 age group record and faster than Sydney Masciarelli’s 16:16 sophomore national record.

Cross Country 2021 - Sophomore

Ellie opened her 2021 cross country season at the Mayor’s Cup at Franklin Park on Sunday, October 24, running 17:12. This was Ellie’s debut at Franklin Park’s 5K course, which was standardized in 1995. Ellie raced her way to second place overall in the Women’s Championship race, running against a field of post-collegiate and professional athletes. Her time of 17:12 is the third fastest high school girl performance for 5K at Franklin Park, behind Shalane Flanagan’s 17:08 in 1999 and the course record of 17:04 by Sydney Masciarelli in 2018. Ellie’s 17:12 set the Emerging Elites club record for Franklin Park, bettering Margot Appleton’s 17:14 from the 2019 Mayor’s Cup.

For her second cross country race of the season and only her second cross country race since 8th grade, Ellie competed in the Eastbay Northeast Regionals at Van Cortlandt Park. Excited to return to Van Cortlandt, Ellie raced her way to sixth place in 17:55 and qualified for the Eastbay National XC Championships in San Diego on December 11, 2021. Ellie was the only female qualifier from Massachusetts and the only female qualifier from New England this year and will be joining 4 girls from New York, 2 from New Jersey, 2 from Pennsylvania and 1 from Maryland as the Northeast team. Ellie paced the Massachusetts team at the regional meet and the Commonwealth squad took fourth place in the team competition. Ellie joins Emerging Elites alumnae Erin Dietz (2014) and Margot Appleton (2019) as Eastbay / Foot Locker Finalists and has earned her way to race the top athletes at Balboa Park in San Diego.

After establishing herself in a good position with the lead runners off the start at Balboa Park and putting herself in the top 4-5 athletes, Ellie ran into an issue on the course and decided it was best not to finish. While she did not have the performance that she wanted, she walked away from the weekend with a few important, hard earned lessons. A special thanks to the Eastbay and New Balance teams for making Ellie’s Eastbay National experience an incredible memory.

Indoor 2022 - Sophomore

Ellie opened up her 2022 track season at the Millrose Games New Balance Invitational Mile at the Armory. After leading for most of the race in the 17 athlete invited field, Ellie was clipped after the bell lap and was unable to finish. While it was a not the season opener she wanted, Ellie reset her focus and after regrouping with a solid week of training, she was eager to get back to racing. Thanks to the Armory team for inviting Ellie to compete in the prestigious Millrose Games.

Accepting an invite to the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix to race the Junior Girls Mile, Ellie returned to New York for the second consecutive weekend. Excited to race in a fast field and at the Ocean Breeze facility for the first time, Ellie took full advantage of this race and rebounded with a 4:48.60 season opener and pressed her advantage to a 3.5 second win. This was Ellie’s indoor mile PR. Thanks to the NB Indoor Grand Prix team for recruiting a fast field and hosting a world-class meet at Ocean Breeze.

After back-to-back weekends of traveling down to New York for races, Ellie was eager to test her fitness by competing in Boston in a faster mixed field of collegiate, professional and high school athletes. Looking to build on her win at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, she set her sights on the mile at the BU David Hemery Valentine Invitational aiming to lower her indoor mile PR. Racing in the third heat, Ellie positioned herself near the front of her section and raced her way to a new mile PR of 4:40.01, which is the second fastest in Massachusetts history behind Lynn Jennings (4:39.0 in 1978) and the sophomore class national record. Special thanks to both the BU coaching staff for hosting a meet focused on performances and the timing team from Lancer Timing for setting up a FAT at 1500m. Ellie’s 1500m split of 4:21.42 is a qualifying mark for the 2022 USATF U20 Championships and the World Athletics U20 Championships in Cali, Colombia.

On February 27, Ellie ran both the 800m and the 3000m at the BU Last Chance meet, roughly 2 hours and 20 minutes apart. Looking to reacquaint herself with the 800m for the first time in nearly three years, Ellie drew a heat assignment for Heat 1 with a very speedy group of seasoned athletes. Undeterred, Ellie raced her way to 2:08.59, bettering her previous best of 2:21.85 by more than 13 seconds.

After taking some time to refuel, recharge and reorient, Ellie set her sights on racing the 3000m. Ellie’s 3000m best of 9:30.64 from June was in jeopardy when she decided to take the lead and set the pace for Heat 1, a mix of professional and collegiate athletes looking to get one more quality race to cap off the indoor season. Ellie established a strong, steady pace, coming through the 1000m in 3:02.51 and the 1600m in 4:52.60, just a touch slower than her 4:48 mile from the NB Indoor Grand Prix three weeks ago at Ocean Breeze. And she still had 7 laps to go! Ellie dug in and passed the 2000m mark at 6:06.41. Ellie found her groove and rattled off her final 1000m in 3:02.13 to take second place overall in 9:08.54.

For her efforts, Ellie took 22 seconds off the Massachusetts state record held by the great Lesley Welch (1981). Ellie’s 3000m was the 5th fastest all-time US HS Girls Indoor 3000m performance and the 4th fastest performer behind Katelyn Tuohy (2 marks), Mary Cain and Marlee Starliper. It was also the 2nd fastest US HS Girls Sophomore 3000m, only behind Katelyn Tuohy’s 9:05.26.

Ellie was excited for a return trip to New York to the Armory for New Balance Nationals Indoors. She qualified for the Girls Championship 800m, Mile, 2 Mile and 5000m and was thrilled to see strong quality fields in each of the events. Knowing that she had only raced five times during the indoor season and that only two of those races were with high school fields, Ellie was eager to compete with her peers and reconnect with friends from around the country. Taking it one day and one race at a time, Ellie kicked off her New Balance Nationals Indoors with the Girls Championship 2 Mile on Friday afternoon at the Armory. Ellie had qualified for the 2 Mile with her 3000m at BU Last Chance and was eager for her indoor 2 mile debut.

On paper, the Girls Championship 2 Mile was a stacked field including three of the top four finishers from Eastbay Cross Country Nationals, Natalie Cook (1st), Angelina Perez (2nd) and Karrie Baloga (4th). Reaching the half mile in 2:27, Ellie, Angelina and Natalie quickly created separation from the field and they continued to press their advantage by going through the mile in 4:58. Natalie started a big push and Ellie gave chase. Both Natalie and Ellie were poised to run strong negative splits after Perez paced a modest opening mile. Cook took the victory in a stellar 9:44.44, setting the Armory facility record and Texas record while running the second fastest US high school indoor two mile. Ellie was next across the line in a strong 9:52.35, setting the sophomore national class record and smashing Lynn Jenning’s Massachusetts record by 18 seconds (10:10.5 in 1978). In her indoor two mile debut and her first ever race at indoor nationals, Ellie ran the 6th fastest all-time US high school indoor two mile. Angelina took third in 9:56.96 for her first time racing at the Armory and ran her way to #12 all-time. This was a race for the ages and Ellie was thrilled to get into an amazing field with athletes who wanted to work together to go fast.

Ellie Shea New Balance Nationals Indoor Championship 2 Mile Sophomore Record Ellie Shea New Balance Nationals Indoor Championship 2 Mile 2nd Place
     Ellie Shea on the New Balance Nationals Indoor Championship 2 Mile

After the excitement of Friday’s 2 Mile, Ellie refocused on getting prepared for the next day. While happy with her effort on Friday, Ellie knew that she was also walking away from the award stand a bit disappointed. Redirecting her energies into recovering and preparing for the next day, Ellie reset her focus to Saturday. With the 5000m scheduled to start roughly 23 hours after the historic 2 mile, Ellie returned to the Armory to make her second indoor event debut in two days. Ellie was very excited to see Jenna Mulhern (3rd at Eastbay Cross Country Nationals, national leader for 5000m indoors) among the entries for the 5000m. After the amazing introduction experience complete with pyrotechnics, music and personal introductions, Ellie headed towards the start for her first ever indoor 25-lap experience.

From the gun, Ellie took off and never looked back. Ian Brooks informed the Armory fans that something special might be unfolding on the track and to keep an eye on Ellie Shea. After passing through the 1000m in 3:08 and 1600m in 5:03, it was clear to those watching the splits, that Ellie was cruising. Reaching halfway in 7:53, Ellie stayed in her rhythm and continued her push towards the finish, passing the 3000m in 9:29 and 3200m in 10:08 (faster than her outdoor 2 mile PR). Ian shared with the Armory audience that this was a masterful performance and that the clock would be the witness to Ellie’s magnificent effort. Passing the 4000m in 12:42, the likelihood for a sub-16 minute 5000m was gaining momentum. Only two high school girls had ever broken 16 minutes indoors: Katelyn Tuohy ran 15:37.1 in 2018 and Brie Oakley ran 15:55.8 in 2017. With New Balance professional athletes on hand to cheer Ellie towards the finish, Corey McGee and Emma Coburn rang the bell for Ellie’s final lap and encouraged Ellie from the infield. Ellie crossed the finish line and broke the winner’s tape to stop the clock at a remarkable 15:49.47, the second fastest indoor 5000m ever run in US HS history! Ellie was now 2 for 2 at high school nationals in the 5000m, capturing one outdoor and one indoor title.

For her efforts, Ellie etched her name into Armory history, running the HS 5000m facility record. She obliterated the Massachusetts state of 16:40 held by Julie McConville in 2013 by an astonishing 51 seconds. Ellie further improved her lifetime 5000m best by 21 seconds from her 16:10.42, which was her debut 5000m at Hayward Field in July 2021 and set the freshman national record (see above for more info). Many thanks to NBNI Meet Director Tim Fulton and the Armory team for making the 5000m a quality experience for Ellie and for splitting the field into two sections.

Ellie Shea New Balance Nationals Indoor Championship 2 Mile Sophomore Record Ellie Shea New Balance Nationals Indoor Championship 2 Mile Sophomore Record
     Ellie Shea on the New Balance Nationals Indoor Championship 5000m

After the thrill of winning her second 5000m high school championship, Ellie cooled down and regeared towards Sunday. If things felt good on Sunday morning, Ellie had two more opportunities to race in quality fields at NBNI: the championship 800m and the championship mile. Both fields were amazing and Ellie decided to scratch the 800m to give herself on last shot at the mile for the indoor season. At her season opener at the Millrose Games, Ellie was clipped after the bell and was unable to finish. She was looking for a bit of redemption to end her season on a high-note.

After lots of jostling at the start, Ellie found herself at the back of the field and needing to work her way forwards. Juliette Whittaker took the race out at breakneck speed, with an opening 440 yards of 66, so Ellie was playing catchup on a super aggressive pace. Working her way back into the mix, Ellie found herself back up in fourth place and ran out of runway to catch the leaders. She finished with a respectable 4:41.00, very close to her season best of 4:40.01 at BU Valentine. Ellie was pleased with her effort, especially knowing that it was her third championship race in three days and that the three competitors who placed ahead of her in the historically fast mile were only entered in the mile at NBNI.

After three NBNI races at the Armory, with 49+ laps of racing covered in 30:22.82 (average pace of 4:57 for 6.1 miles), Ellie walked out with a solid ending to her first indoor track season (Ellie’s 2021 indoor season was held outdoors) and looked forward to a well-earned break before the outdoor season.

A huge thank you to the New Balance (Caitlin, Andy, John and Tom) and especially to meet director extraordinaire Tim Fulton for a smooth and efficient NBNI meet. The meet ran on time all weekend, the seeded fields were appropriately sized, the barrel was used to distribute the runners and the introductions were absolutely incredible! This was a meet experience without parallel.

Outdoor 2022 - Sophomore

Ellie Shea opened her 2022 outdoor track campaign at the BAA Professional Mile held during Boston Marathon weekend. She was happy to be invited by the BAA to compete in a strong professional field in her hometown. Racing the 3-lap course in the Back Bay, Ellie was eager to test her fitness two weeks into her outdoor season. Ellie ran a road mile PR of 4:43.66, to place 9th overall. Thank you to the BAA for the invitation!

To reacquaint herself with the outdoor track, Ellie hopped into a 800m race at the Battle Road Twilight Series at Bentley University on May 14 and ran 2:12.3. This two lap rust-buster was just enough to whet her appetite for some outdoor racing. Next up was her 1500m season debut at the Tracksmith Trials of Miles Track Night NYC at Icahn Stadium. Ellie opted for the professional women’s 1500m Heat B to mix it up with a mostly post-collegiate field. In her first outdoor 1500m in a few years, Ellie was a bit impatient and passed the pacer, but was rewarded with a nice 5-second lifetime best of 4:16.04, improving upon her 4:21.42 en route at BU in February. Ellie’s 1500m was the 12th fastest 1500m by a US high school girl all-time and the 4th fastest U18 1500m in the world to date in 2022 (Tilastopaja). Long-time New England running statistician, Larry Newman, confirmed that Ellie bettered the 45-year old Massachusetts state and New England record of 4:18.06 held by Lynn Jennings from 1977.

Eager to get in another 1500m to test her fitness in early June, Ellie was thrilled to race in the Battle Road Track Club Twilight Meet #3 on Saturday, June 4. Little did she know that US 1500m Olympian Heather MacLean was going to be pacing the 1500m, doubling back from her 800m win! Settling in right behind Heather from the start, Ellie was patient for two laps and then soloed her way to a new PB of 4:14.35, lowering her own 1500m state and New England record. Special thanks to the Battle Road Track Club and Bentley University for hosting a great meet and to Heather MacLean for the pacing. Ellie’s mark is #8 all-time in US high school history.

For the second time, Ellie was invited by Brooks to compete at the Brooks PR Invitational. Ellie had an amazing experience as a freshman when she placed fifth in the mile and set a new PR of 4:43. For her second trip to Seattle, Ellie was interested in racing the mile or two mile as both fields were stacked with the best runners in the US. Ellie decided to test her fitness by racing the 2 Mile, her first race at that distance for her outdoor campaign. Ellie was eager to toe the line with her friends from around the country and focus on racing fast.

Unfortunately, Ellie picked up an illness bug on her travels to Seattle and that derailed her race. After leading most of the race and going through the mile in 4:53, Ellie made the decision to step off the track after getting dizzy and stumbling onto the rail. It was unlucky timing, but a prudent decision. Congrats to Dalia Frias and Irene Riggs who pushed to the finish and ran the two fastest 2 miles in HS history. Special thanks to the Brooks team, especially Julie and Jesse for making Ellie’s second trip to Seattle, including a trip to Brooks HQ, a great experience, despite not feeling her best.

Ellie turned the page and headed south to Eugene for Nike Outdoor Nationals at Hayward Field. After regaining her strength, Ellie was eager to put the Brooks PR race behind her. She decided to race the NON 2 mile on Saturday night and see how her fitness had rebounded. After an opening mile of 4:55, Ellie and Kate Peters created separation from the field and decided to race the second mile. Leading for more than seven laps, Ellie cruised to the finish in second place, running a swift 9:56.11, running an outdoor PR and lowering her own Massachusetts record. She passed the 3000m mark en route in 9:16, which broke Lesley Welch’s 41-year old state record of 9:27.1 by 10.36 seconds. Special thanks to the NSAF team for inviting Ellie to compete at Hayward Field.

Following a disappointing June in Ellie’s outdoor track season truncated by COVID, she returned to New England committed to regaining her health and, if possible, perhaps a return to racing in August to simulate a competition cycle for future summers. Looking to have a fun reentry into racing, Ellie traveled to Brooklyn to take on the Brooklyn Mile (road mile) on Sunday, August 7. Although this was Ellie’s debut at the Brooklyn Mile, she was ready to lace up and race in a pro field for the road mile. Spotting her competitors at least 7 years of age, Ellie went with the leaders and was rewarded with a fourth place finish in 4:41. Special thanks to the Trials of Miles team for the invite and a great race experience in Brooklyn!

Excited to race one final mile before starting her junior year, Ellie accepted the invitation from the Falmouth Road Race to the Elite Women’s Mile on Saturday, August 20. This was Ellie’s first time racing the Falmouth Elite Mile and was the sole representative from Massachusetts in the race. She was excited to get back on the track for the first time since June! Despite an untied shoe and a dislodged old-school timing tag yoyoing on the top of her foot, Ellie turned in a respectable 4:40.58 for sixth place in the field of nine athletes.

Cross Country 2022 - Junior

Ellie Shea opened her fall campaign on Saturday, October 8 with her debut at the 10km distance by taking on the Boston 10K for Women on the roads of Boston and Cambridge. Ellie was eager to toe the line to race her first 10km and was rewarded with a solid 34:11 for her season opener. This was the 9th fastest 10km road performance for World U20 in 2022 and the fastest U20 10km in North America for 2022 by nearly two minutes. 

“It was fun to step out and open my season with a new distance. I really enjoy racing on the roads and this was my longest road race! I loved the energy and support from the spectators- it was a fun way to get my season started. I’m hoping to get in a few cross country races in the coming weeks and test my fitness on the trails, but today was about having fun and racing with some teammates in a new event.”

Continuing a trend of trying new distances, Ellie ran in the USATF – New England Cross Country Championships at Franklin Park, taking on her first 6K XC race on November 6. This was Ellie’s cross country season debut and she ran 21:37 for fourth place. The 6K course adds an additional 1K up and over Bear Cage Hill for the final kilometer of the race.

Ellie headed south to the Bronx’s fabled Van Cortlandt Park for the Champs XC Northeast Regional (formerly Foot Locker / Eastbay) on Saturday, November 26 looking to secure a return trip to Champs XC Nationals in San Diego. This was her season debut in a high school cross country race. Blessed with good course conditions and favorable weather, Ellie was eager to race her Northeast peers, including multiple state and regional champions. Running in fourth and then moving through the early leaders, Ellie opened up a sizable advantage in the back hills and cruised to the Champs XC Northeast title in a sterling 17:10.7, a 14-second win.

“Today was a fun day of racing. Great conditions and great competition made for a strong day of racing at Van Cortlandt. Karrie and Zariel are great competitors and I’m excited to return to San Diego with them and the entire Northeast team. I think our Northeast team is strong. We know how to handle the back hills of Van Cortlandt and that should help all of us at Balboa Park.”

Ellie set the Massachusetts state record for VCP 5K, bettering Mary Cobb’s 17:23.3 from 1994. This is the fifth fastest 5K at VCP and the second fastest this century. It was an improvement over Ellie’s sixth place finish in 2021 of 17:55. Ellie joins a distinguished group of Massachusetts girls northeast regional champions, including Mary Cobb (1994), Melissa Donais (1999), Natasha Roettter (2000, 2001), Ari Lambie (2002), Emily Jones (2008), Catarina Rocha (2012) and Sydney Masciarelli (2018). Special thanks to Phil Zodda, Tim Fulton and Jeanine Zocks for making Ellie’s Champs XC Northeast Regional an experience to remember.

As a tune-up before heading out to San Diego, Ellie was looking for a local competition to stay race-ready heading to Champs National XC. She set her sights on the 3000m indoors at the Sharon Colyear Danville Season Opener at Boston University on Saturday, December 3. Knowing that this meet would attract some of the best distance runners from the NCAA, it was an opportunity for Ellie to get in a crowded field and gain some valuable experience competing against older and faster athletes. Lining up in the seeded 3,000m, Ellie raced her way to a solid season opener of 9:10.85 for 3000m, just off her 9:08.54 indoor PR from February 2022. This was the fastest 3,000m indoors for a US high school girl in December. Special thanks to Gabe Sanders and Jordan Carpenter for a great racing experience at Boston University.

After qualifying at Van Cortlandt Park, Ellie was eager to return to San Diego for the Champs (Foot Locker) XC Championships at Balboa Park on Saturday, December 10. Ellie was thrilled to head to Balboa Park with a strong lineup of girls from the Northeast team.

Overcoming a slow start that placed her mid-pack, Ellie worked her way forward to the top pack and raced herself into contention. Passing through the mile in 5:17.5 and the 2 mile in 10:55.4, the race began in earnest in the final 1.1 miles, with Ellie, Karrie Baloga and Paityn Noe trading the lead. The three women battled up Balboa Park’s signature hill for the second time. Ellie summited the hill in third place, but rallied passed Paityn and pressed forward in pursuit of Karrie. Karrie opened up a short lead and Ellie began her final push to the finish. Ellie passed the 3 mile mark in 16:17 and could hear the crowd cheering her to the finish line. The victory went to Karrie Baloga in 16:49 and Ellie raced her way to a stellar 2nd place finish in 16:55.1. Ellie was the runner-up at Champs Cross Country Nationals in just her third cross country race of the season (USATF New England 6K at Franklin Park, Champs Northeast Regional 5K at Van Cortlandt and Champs XC Championships at Balboa Park).

To run sub-17 minutes at Balboa Park is a significant milestone as Karrie and Ellie became just the 11th and 12th athletes in 43 years to achieve it. Ellie’s time of 16:55.1 would have won 18 of the last 20 editions at Balboa Park and was 20 seconds faster than Natalie Cook’s winning time from 2021. Karrie and Ellie paced the Northeast girls team to a team win, their second team win in as many years. Ellie’s time was the fastest for a Massachusetts girl, and Ellie’s runner-up place ties Catarina Rocha for best place in Champs / Foot Locker history for a Massachusetts girl.

Ellie leaves San Diego with a deep appreciation of racing at Balboa Park and gratitude to the Champs and New Balance teams, including Phil, Ronn, Jeanine, Tim, Carrie, Susan, Andy and Caitlin.

Ellie extended her cross country season into mid-January to compete at the USATF U20 Championships in Richmond, Virginia on Saturday, January 21. Hosted on a 2-kilometer loop course at Pole Green Park, Ellie was excited that many of the top high school and freshman collegiate runners would race the 6KM course to earn one of the six spots on Team USA to compete at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia on February 18.

The race began in earnest with a strong group of high school athletes getting separation from the field in the first kilometer. Ellie placed herself in the lead pack with fellow high schoolers Zariel Macchia, Abbey Nechanicky, Irene Riggs, Karrie Baloga and UNC freshman Eva Klingbeil. This group worked well together to keep the pace honest by trading turns at the front. After the second loop, Ellie and Irene broke from the lead pack and quickly opened up a sizable gap, with Irene reaching the 5K mark in 16:40.7 and Ellie on her heels at 16:42.1. The chase pack of Macchia, Baloga, Nechanicky and Klingbeil were seven seconds behind at 5K. Irene and Ellie pushed their advantage in the final kilometer with Irene winning in 19:44.3 and Ellie capturing silver in 19:47.5. Macchia took the bronze position in 20:04, with Nechanicky, Baloga and Klingbeil rounding out the top six places.

Congrats to Ellie and her fellow Team USA qualifiers who will be competing at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia on February 18. Special thanks to Steve Taylor for hosting and managing a terrific USATF Cross Country Championships at Pole Green Park.

In her final tune-up before heading to Bathurst for World Cross, Ellie accepted an invitation to race the International Girls U20 Mile at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix at the incredible Track at New Balance. Ellie was thrilled to have a strong American field to face the top juniors from Ireland and Great Britain and race her season opener for the mile. Ellie’s teammate Lily Jin helped establish the early pacing and the American contenders quickly created separation from the international competitors. After 800m, Ellie, Sadie Engelhardt and Tatum David were in the lead pack with Ellie setting the pace. At the bell, it was anyone’s race as the Ellie, Sadie and Tatum began their final push for the finish. Sadie took the win in 4:40.59, with Tatum in second in 4:40.86 and Ellie taking third in 4:42.08, a clean sweep of the podium for the American team. Ellie was pleased with her effort and now turns her attention to her final prep for World Cross. Next stop: Bathurst!

Special thanks to Mark, Jorge, John, Andy, Caitlin and for inviting Ellie to race in her second NBIGP girls mile.

2023 World Athletics Cross Country Championships - Bathurst, NSW, Australia

Ellie Shea leads Team USA to first ever team medal, places 10th in U20 Championships! 

For her final cross country race of the season, Ellie traveled 16 time zones and more than 10,000 miles from Boston to Bathurst, NSW, Australia to represent Team USA in the U20 race at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships on Saturday, February 18, 2023. Electing to split up her travel to Bathurst, Ellie spent a few days in Sydney training in Centennial Park and getting adjusted to the Australian summer. Between training sessions, Ellie explored Sydney’s iconic Opera House and went body surfing on Bondi Beach.

On Thursday, she traveled with her Team USA teammates to Bathurst on a 4-hour bus ride from Sydney. Excited to see her US teammates, Ellie was keen to get settled in Bathurst. After athlete processing and room assignments, Ellie headed to Mount Panorama with the US U20 women’s team, eager to see what the World Athletics and local organizing committee had designed for a course. After walking the 2km course loop, Ellie discovered the footing to be quite good with the exception of the Billabong. She thoroughly enjoyed the man-made challenges built into the course, including the sandy Bondi Beach area, the slippery mud in the billabong, the narrow lanes in the vineyard, the uphill slalom in the chicane and the undulations of the boomerang. This was going to be a challenging course for all competitors and the forecasted temperatures of 95F / 35C would certainly add its own dynamic to the race strategy.

On Friday, Ellie hung out with her Team USA teammates (Irene Riggs, Karrie Baloga, Zariel Macchia, Eva Klingbeil and Allie Zealand) and met fellow U20 athletes from around the world. She particularly loved that the US U20 team was staying with the US senior women’s team (Heather Maclean, Emma Coburn, Ednah Kurgat, Weini Kelati, Katie Izzo, Allie Buchalski and Emily Lipari) in the same house in the athlete village. This was an incredible experience to see how the US senior women were approaching both the senior race and the mixed relay.

On Saturday, the temperatures climbed steadily into the 90F / 32C range at Mount Panorama. Knowing that the course was considered the hardest ever World Cross Country course and given the intense heat, Ellie was thankful for her heat acclimation training. She modified her warmup and prepped herself to tackle the three lap course. From the gun, a strong lead pack of athletes from Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda set the tempo and Ellie quickly established herself behind this group with Australia’s Amy Bunnage and US teammates Irene Riggs and Zariel Macchia.

Approaching the billabong for the first time at the 1km mark, Ellie entered the sloppy mud in 20th place. She made it halfway through before losing her footing and falling into the ankle deep mud. Reluctant to lose her hard-earned positioning, Ellie rallied and quickly recovered from a dead-stop to tackle the steepest hill on the course and re-establish contact with the lead pack. Knowing to expect the unexpected and powered by an adrenaline surge, Ellie was undiscouraged, put her head down and grinded her way back to the lead group. Entering the vineyard, Ellie had moved up to 18th place and 6 seconds behind the leaders. She continued to push forward through the chicane and passed one athlete to move into 17th place. Ellie completed the first 2km lap in 7:16 and was in 15th place, 6 seconds behind the leaders.

Ellie pressed forward on the second lap, passing two more athletes and reaching the billabong (3km) in 10:18 and 13th place. After successfully navigating the mud pit on lap 2, Ellie then set her sights on closing the gap 2 second gap to the athlete ahead of her. Heading into the vineyard for the second time, Ellie decided to press forward and moved into 12th place with US teammate Irene Riggs giving chase 3 seconds back in 14th place. The Ethiopian and Kenyan team continued to push the pace on the front end, but a three-way competition for the third place team was shaping up between Uganda, Japan and the USA. Each country would need a significant push from their top four scoring athletes on the third lap to secure the bronze team medal. Ellie raced her way forward and saw that the lead pack had picked up the pace as they entered the final lap and was beginning to splinter. She completed her second lap in 14:20 in 13th place and was running stride for stride with US teammate Irene Riggs, also clocked in 14:20 for 12th place. At the end of the second lap, Karrie Baloga had moved forward to 16th place, only 24 seconds behind Ellie and Irene. Importantly, Zariel Macchia, the youngest member of the US U20 squad, was only 19 seconds behind Karrie in 22nd place, but within striking distance to a handful of competitors from Japan and Uganda. The race for the podium, something that had previously eluded the US U20 women’s team in the prior 28 editions, was going to come down to the final 2km lap. If Ellie wanted to finish in the top 10, then she needed to close a 9-second gap on the final lap.

Ellie was excited for the final lap and knew that this was going to be the hardest lap yet. With the temperatures climbing from 90F / 32C at the start to 95F / 35C and the humidity increasing from 24% to 29%, the racing on the final lap was going to be a strenuous physical test. Ellie wasted no time, accelerated past Irene and critically passed Felister Chekwemoi of Uganda to move into 11th place entering the billabong for the third and final time. Super excited to stay on her feet through the mud pit and with only a kilometer of racing left, Ellie was only four seconds behind 10th place. She would need to close this gap over the final set of hills. Entering the vineyard, the gap from Ellie to 10th placer Melknat Wudu had increased from four to six seconds. Undeterred, Ellie kept her eyes on Melknat’s back and slowly started to reel her in. With the finish fast approaching, Ellie made one final surge and caught Melknat only 180m from the finish. Sprinting downhill to the finish line at Mount Panorama, Ellie ran with purpose finishing in 21:48 for 10th place.

Now Ellie had to wait at the finish line for her US teammates, each of whom were having exceptional final laps on this challenging course. Next across was Irene Riggs in 12th place in 22:03 and just behind her was teammate Karrie Baloga in 13th place in 22:12. Irene had held her 12th position on the final lap and Karrie was clutch in moving forward 3 positions from 16th to 13th on the final lap. The US spread from Ellie to Irene and Karrie was 24 seconds and the three of them stood at the finish line looking and hoping for a strong fourth place finish for the US squad. They didn’t have to wait long to see the long stride of Zariel Macchia come screaming downhill towards the finish. At the billabong on the third lap, Zariel was sitting in 23rd place after 5km of racing. Zariel found an extra gear and unleashed it to finish 19th in 23:05 to seal the bronze medal for Team USA! US teammates Eva Klingbeil and Allie Zealand finished 29h (23:29) and 34th (24:00), respectively, to round out Team USA’s performances.

U20 Women Team Scores

1st place, Kenya, 15 points
2nd place, Ethiopia, 22 points
3rd place, USA, 54 points
4th place, Uganda, 75 points
5th place, Japan, 76 points
6th place, Great Britain, 120 points
7th place, Spain, 122 points
8th place, South Africa, 173 points

A joyous celebration broke out in the mixed media tent as the team scores were announced with Team USA securing the bronze medal on a day full of courageous racing in Bathurst. Ellie Shea saved her best race for the last cross country race of the season, finishing 10th in the world and leading her US teammates to the USA’s first ever global team medal.

Team USA history made in Bathurst

This US U20 women’s squad should be celebrated for achieving the best all-time cross country team performance in Team USA history. Ellie’s 10th place finish was the highest US women’s individual finish in the U20 race since Melody Fairchild’s third place finish on the 4.4km U20 race at the 1991 IAAF World Cross Country Championships. As a team, the US managed to place four athletes in the Top 20 on perhaps the most demanding world cross country course and in unseasonably high heat conditions.

This year’s U20 team scorers are all high school athletes: a junior (Ellie), two seniors (Irene and Karrie) and a sophomore (Zariel), with a college freshman (Eva) and another HS junior (Allie) on the US squad. With the exception of Irene and Eva, the rest of the squad is age eligible to return on next year’s U20 XC team.

       

This year’s young US squad came to Bathurst with significant individual accolades:

Irene Riggs: US U20 XC Champ, NXN Champion, NXR Southeast Champion, Gatorade National Player of the Year, Gatorade West Virginia Runner of the Year
Karrie Baloga: US U20 XC 5th place, Champs XC Champion, Champs Northeast Regional Runner-up, NY State XC Champion, WU20 Steeplechase 11th place, Gatorade New York Runner of the Year
Ellie Shea: US U20 XC Runner-up, Champs XC Runner-up, Champs Northeast Regional Champion
Zariel Macchia: US U20 XC 3rd place, US U20 XC Champ (2022), Champs XC 6th place, Champs Northeast Regional 3rd place
Eva Klingbeil: US U20 XC 6th place, NCAA DI XC 108th place, NCAA DI XC Southeast Regional 18th place, ACC XC 36th place
Allie Zealand: US U20 XC 8th place, Champs XC 8th place, Champs South Regional 3rd place, Gatorade Virginia Cross Country Runner of Year

To provide a better perspective on this historic performance, below are the race recaps detailing how Ellie Shea led the US team to its first ever team bronze medal at a global cross country championship.

World Athletics Recap

USATF Recap

Race Results Weekly Recap

Athletics Weekly Recap

Letsrun Recap

Runnerspace / Dyestat Recap

Milesplit Recap

Track & Field News Recap

                 

Indoor 2023 - Junior

Ellie intermixed some indoor racing while staying sharp for Champs XC in December, USA XC in January and World XC in February (see notes above in cross country).

After returning from Bathurst, Ellie was hoping to get an indoor race under her belt prior to competing at New Balance Nationals Indoor. Looking at the calendar and having adjusted to the 16 time zones of travel, Ellie selected the 3000m at the Last Chance Invitational at Boston University. Having run two events at this meet last year (2:08.59 800m and 9:08.54 3000m), Ellie was focused on only racing the 3000m for 2023.

The race began in earnest with Puma Elite’s Taylor Werner setting the pace for teammate Sarah Inglis and Nike’s Sinclaire Johnson. Knowing that the pace was going to be too quick for her, Ellie essentially soloed the 3000m after roughly 800m. She clicked through the 1000m in 2:58.69, the 1600m in 4:48.10 and the 2000m in 6:01.67. While most people were watching the pros race upfront, Ellie was quietly putting together a tremendous solo race for third. She crossed the finish line in 9:02.02, chopping 6 seconds off her 3000m PR.

Only 8 days after racing 6km cross country in the U20 Women’s championships at the World Championships in Bathurst and placing 10th, Ellie ran her way to the second fastest 3000m in high school history, narrowly outside Katelyn Tuohy’s 9:01.81 from 2019. This lowered her Massachusetts and New England record. This was a solid effort and marked Ellie’s first performance on Track and Field News’ US U20 absolute list, coming in at #9.

Special thanks to Dave Callum for his tireless work managing the Last Chance meet and clerking all of the meets at BU. This is a world-class facility with a deeply experienced team that enables athletes to chase their athletic dreams. Kudos to the BU meet management team, including Gabe Sanders, Jordan Carpenter, Jaime Berryman and Dave Callum.

With the end of the indoor season in her crosshairs, Ellie was thrilled to compete at the first New Balance Nationals Indoor to be held at The Track at New Balance, a state-of-the-art facility in Brighton, MA, only four miles from her hometown of Belmont, MA. Like last year at NBNI at the Armory, Ellie was registered in four championship events: 800m, mile, 2 mile and 5000m and took the approach of one day and one race at a time.

When the entry lists were posted online, Ellie was thrilled to see many familiar competitors entered in the Championship 2 Mile on Friday afternoon, including her Team USA World Cross teammates Karrie Baloga, Zariel Macchia, and Allie Zealand. After placing second in the NBNI 2 Mile last year at the Armory and coming off her sterling 9:02.02 3000m, Ellie wanted to throw down a strong 2 mile at NBNI. She knew that this was a field that she could race with. Ellie was hoping for a competitive race, but 200m in, it was clear that no one wanted to go with her from the gun. Setting off on a solo effort, Ellie didn’t waste time or her race effort at NBNI. She came ready to race hard. With an opening quarter mile of 70.39 and reaching the half-mile in 2:23.54, Ellie had opened a 5.5-second lead after only four laps. Ellie pressed her advantage and was urged on by the crowd as she passed through the mile in 4:51.79, nearly 12 seconds up on second place. Ellie knew that the second half of the race was where she needed to go to work.

She masterfully ran the next three quarters in 75.83, 75.35 and 75.04. The crowd could sense that something special was unfolding and urged Ellie forward for her final two laps. Ellie’s courageous front running brought the crowd of 5,000+ to their feet with a stirring and emphatic win in the Championship 2 Mile, closing in 71.83 and running her way to a new PR of 9:49.82, 17 seconds ahead of second place. This lowered Ellie’s state record (9:52 last year at NBNI), set the Track at New Balance facility record and is the fourth fastest all-time 2 mile indoors for US high school girls. This is the fastest indoor U18 and U20 2 Mile run in the world in 2023.

After the excitement of Friday’s monstrous 2 mile performance, Ellie regrouped and turned her attention to potentially racing on Saturday afternoon. After a morning recovery session, Ellie refocused on Saturday’s racing opportunities: she could pick between the championship 5000m and the championship 800m. Ultimately, Ellie elected to race the 5000m as she wanted to get a 5000m performance mark to close out her indoor season. Knowing that she was in good shape from her buildup from World Cross, her 9:02 3000m at BU Last Chance and her 9:49 2 mile on Friday, Ellie was hungry to see what her fitness would translate to for 5000m indoors. With the NBNI meet management opting to include a third section of the 5000m to limit the number of backmarkers when passing and an opportunity to test racing with the pacing lights, Ellie saw the upside of the 5000m. From the gun, Ellie wanted to find a comfortable pace and, working with the pace lights, she raced in a solo effort to a new 5000m PR of 15:46.28, passing through the kilometers in 3:07.94, 3:07.57, 3:11.68, 3:12.63, and 3:06.48. Ellie passed through her first 1600m in 5:00.88 and the 3200m in 10:05.82, which was faster than everyone who ran the Championship 2 Mile with Ellie on Friday night, and she still had 9 laps to go! Congrats to Ellie on lowering her 5000m PR, lowering her state record, setting the Track at New Balance facility record and recording the second fastest high school 5000m indoors. She won by a margin of 57+ seconds. For her efforts, Ellie is the only US high school girl to post two sub-15:50 5000m races in high school history and the only US HS girl to post three sub-16:11 marks (no other US HS girl has 2 5000m performances faster than 16:17 all-time).

With two races and two national championships under her belt, Ellie slept well on Saturday night, knowing that she was closing her indoor season on a high note. After a recovery session on Sunday morning, Ellie wanted to have one last go at the mile indoors. She knew that the top competitors would be coming in fresh, but she was determined to put herself in the race and see what might happen. The sub-4:40 mile remained elusive for Ellie as she had run as close as 4:40.01, so with a bit of luck and a competitive field, Ellie was motivated to give one final effort at NBNI 2023. Saddled up with the familiar competitors from the U20 International Mile at NBIGP in Sadie Engelhardt and Tatum David, Ellie was hoping that one of them would help set the pace at the front. Tatum and Sadie established an early rhythm, while Ellie settled into the third position, happy not to be leading for the first time at NBNI. Passing through the 800m in 2:20.18, Ellie felt super comfortable and knew that the second half would be quick. Ellie pushed up onto Sadie’s shoulder, and Sadie pushed up on Tatum. The three of them separated from the chase pack. Sadie passed Tatum on the homestretch, finishing in 4:38.65, with Tatum just behind in 4:38.80. Ellie closed out NBNI with her fastest lap of the weekend of 32.99 to capture third place in 4:40.76 and her third podium at the 2023 NBNI.

As her 2023 indoor season wrapped up with 8 races and 2 relays, Ellie closed it out with the season’s second fastest US HS 1000m (2:44.51- PR, tenth fastest all-time), the season’s sixth fastest US HS mile (4:40.76), the season’s fastest 3000m (9:02.02- PR, second fastest all-time), the season’s fastest 2 Mile (9:49.82- PR, fourth fastest all-time) and the season’s fastest 5000m (15:46.28 – PR, second fastest all-time).

A massive thank you to the entire New Balance Team and meet partners for creating the most incredible high school indoor national experience and perhaps the best indoor track meet ever hosted. The Track at New Balance is a world-class facility with a fast track and a world-class organization. It’s fitting that NBNI has found its home in Boston on New Balance’s Brighton campus.

Onto Outdoors!

                 

Outdoor 2023 - Junior

Ellie opened her outdoor season with the BAA invitational Mile, a fun way to bounce back from her indoor season. Ellie was happy to celebrate the best weekend of running in Boston by racing the BAA Mile. She raced her way to a top 10 finish in 4:51.37. Thank you to the BAA for inviting Ellie to this amazing race in her home city.

On Friday, May 19, Ellie headed south to Icahn Stadium to race at Track Night NYC for the second time. Racing in the pro women’s 1500m, Ellie ran 4:17.41 for her season debut. This was a good effort for Ellie to mix it up with older athletes (next youngest was 24 years old) and work on her racing skills on an outdoor track.

On Saturday, June 3, Ellie decided to race her outdoor mile season debut at the Battle Road Twilight #3 Meet. Despite a very cool, wet and windy evening, Ellie was determined to race her way for four consistent laps in the mixed gender race. For her efforts, Ellie ran 4:37.22, a new mile PR and the fastest high school girls mile in Massachusetts history (mixed gender race is not record eligible for MA HS records).

Ellie kicked off her 2023 championship season in Renton, Washington with her third invitation to compete at the Brooks PR Invitational. After last year’s disappointing DNF due to illness, Ellie sought redemption in the 2 mile. Hoping that someone would want to push the pace in the first lap, Ellie let the pace lag in a pedestrian 79 seconds. Keeping her cool, Ellie swung to the front and started cranking the pace down. Happy to grind it out, she negative split her way to a 69-second last lap, finishing in 9:53.36 to secure her first Brooks PR win, the fastest outdoor 2 Mile of 2023. Her performance earned her the sixth fastest US HS outdoor 2 Mile of all time plus three seconds off of her own Massachusetts state record. Many thanks to the Brooks PR team, including Jesse, Chloe, Clara, Jordan and Garrett for creating another fantastic meet experience by hosting the top athletes from across the US.

Ellie’s next step was to race in another elite-level 1500m to gain some valuable experience she could use at USAs. She set her sights on the Classique D’Athlétisme De Montréal at Claude-Robillard Sports Complex, Canada’s Olympic Trials Stadium. Despite getting off to a bit of a rocky start, Ellie ran a strong race, finishing 7th among some of the best athletes in Canada. This was a great tune-up race heading to Hayward. Many thanks to the La Classique organizing team, including, Laurent, Pierre-Antoine, and Edvige.

                 

Ellie turned her attention to USA Outdoors, looking to prove herself amongst the best in the country once again. Her week began on Thursday evening with the 1500m prelims at the Toyota USATF Outdoor Championships. In a field of professional, elite-level athletes, Ellie was the youngest runner by two full years and the only high schooler who qualified. Despite the high level of competition, Ellie asserted herself amongst the elites, taking the lead from the gun through the first 600m to keep the pace in her favor. Unfortunately for Ellie, her hard-fought effort ended in her getting outkicked before the line, and while she didn't end up qualifying for the finals, it was nevertheless a great effort and an amazing learning experience. In electing to race the senior 1500m, Ellie became eligible to represent Team USA at the NACAC U23 meet in Costa Rica.

After holding her own with the pros, Ellie returned to the track on Sunday to race in the USATF U20 Championships against her peer athletes. In the U20 1500m final, Ellie quickly asserted herself, heading to the front at the 200m mark. She went on to hold her lead through the finish, crossing the line in a speedy 4:19.58, an impressive time considering her solo effort. Sixty-seven minutes later, Ellie came back for her final race of the week, the U20 3000m. This time, to conserve her energy and practice her tactical race skills, Ellie held herself back, running in a close second-place position for the first 2000m. With 600m to go, Ellie surged ahead of the rest of the competition and captured 1st place in a respectable 9:46.56. It was truly a remarkable way to cap off the most exciting meet of the outdoor season.

                                  

For international competitions, Ellie will represent Team USA in the 1500m at NACAC U23 in Costa Rica and the 1500m and 3000m at the Pan American U20 Championships in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. This will be Ellie’s second and third Team USA selection in 2023, building on her Team USA berth at the World U20 Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia in February.

Ellie headed south to Costa Rica to race for Team USA in the 1500m at the NACAC U23 Championships on Sunday, July 23. Racing in her first senior level meet at age 17, Ellie was the youngest competitor in the U23 1500m by nearly 2 years and one of the youngest on Team USA. Ellie raced her way to second place, running a near PR of 4:14.90 in the heat and humidity of San Jose, beating athletes from Canada, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica and the Virgin Islands.

Ellie remarked, “I had a great experience coming to Costa Rica and running for Team USA, representing my country for the first time on the track. Racing World Cross in Bathurst was super fun and I wanted to make the NACAC team. I just missed a PR, but my focus was getting on the podium and gaining more championship experience. I’m now focused on my prep for Pan Am U20 in Puerto Rico in 2 weeks.”

This was Ellie’s second Team USA appearance in 2023 after her breakout performance of 10th place at World Cross Country U20 Championships in Bathurst in February, leading Team USA to its first ever team medal (bronze) at World Cross.

Ellie repacked her Team USA kit and headed for Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, for the Pan American U20 meet. Greeted by intense sun and high humidity in Mayaguez, Ellie had her sights focused on competing for the win in both the 1500m on Friday evening and the 3000m on Sunday morning. With the 1500m first up, Ellie knew that she would face a stout field including the South American 800m and 1500m champion from Peru, and the 1500m champions from Canada and Argentina. From the gun, Ellie jumped out to the lead and would not relinquish her position, leading from gun-to-tape in a sterling 4:16.61. This was Ellie’s first time winning a gold medal for Team USA, after her team bronze medal at World Cross in February and her silver medal in the NACAC U23 1500m. Ellie just missed the meet record by half a second and it was the first time that Team USA had won the Pan Am U20 1500m since Kate Murphy’s run in 2015.

Ellie enjoyed taking Saturday as a recovery day in Mayaguez, exploring the town and refocusing her efforts on preparing for Sunday’s 3000m final. With the start time moved forward to 7:30am to get ahead of the hot forecast and high humidity, Ellie had to plan for her earliest start time. Ellie departed for the track pre-sunrise with her Team USA teammate Zariel Macchia to face a competitive field of athletes from four countries. They knew that the Canadians would be a tough squad to beat, especially Charlotte Sinke who was coming off 1500m gold medal and 3000m silver medal performances at the Canadian U20 Championships the prior weekend. With the temperature hovering around 90 degrees at the start and no wind, Ellie knew that the conditions would be tough for a fast time, but she was determined to create separation from the field early in the race.

From the gun, Ellie took off in earnest and it quickly became a solo time trial. It was Ellie vs. the clock and the conditions. Passing through the opening 1000m in 2:59, the stadium announcers informed the crowd to keep an eye on the clock and to encourage Ellie on her brave front running. She passed through 1600m in 4:49 and kept the pressure on going through the 2000m in 6:04. The multi-national crowd of spectators were going to witness a solo effort for the ages as Ellie opened up a 150m lead and then pressed her advantage to 200m. At the bell, Ellie made her final push for the finish, passing a back-marker on the backstretch and accelerating towards the finish with her signature high turnover. The clock would bear witness to her courage and she sprinted through the line in a commanding 9:05.78, taking nearly 11 seconds off the 34 year Pan American U20 record held by Canadian Olympian Lisa Harvey set in 1989. Ellie had opened a 45 second gap back to second place and Zariel Macchia secured the bronze medal for Team USA in 9:52.40. With two Americans on the podium, Ellie and Zariel set the tone for Team USA on the final day of competition at Pan Am U20 in Mayaguez. Ellie’s 9:05.78 lowered her own Massachusetts record and the New England record by 11 seconds and is the second fastest outdoor 3000m performance ever run by a US high school female.

 

                 

 

Cross Country 2023 - Senior

After a tremendously successful and long track campaign, Ellie ran a limited season of cross country that started after Thanksgiving. She opened her season at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional at its new home of Franklin Park and ran 17:21 to secure second place behind friend and fellow Team USA teammate (World Cross and Pan Am U20) Zariel Macchia. Ellie was thrilled to earn her third trip to Foot Locker Nationals at Balboa Park in San Diego. Congrats to Jorge Torres, Dan Dachelet and the FLNE meet organizers for quickly pulling together a great meet experience at Franklin Park.

To help jumpstart her fall competitive season, Ellie ran a 3000m tune-up at Boston University’s Season Opener, running 9:26.13, which secured her qualifying marks for the 2024 USATF U20 and World U20 Championships.

Ellie headed west to San Diego and was thrilled to leave Boston behind for warmer weather. She thoroughly enjoyed her time with her fellow competitors and connecting with friends from around the country. On race day, the Girls Championship started with exceptionally fast front running and Ellie moved her way forward through the race with her fellow FLNE teammates Zariel Macchia and Ruth White. Ellie placed 14th overall to secure her second consecutive Foot Locker Nationals All-American honors. Many thanks to the FLNE organizers, the Foot Locker Nationals and HOKA teams for creating an incredibly supportive and memorable race weekend for the athletes.

USATF Cross Country Championships - Pole Green Park, Richmond, Virigina
Saturday, January 20, 2024

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Watch Race Video

Ellie Shea books her return ticket to World Cross Country Championships

Braving cold and blustery conditions in Richmond, Virginia, Ellie Shea secures her 4th Team USA selection in 12 months.

After a low-key fall of cross country racing, Ellie Shea extended her cross country season into late January to compete at the USATF U20 Championships in Richmond, Virginia on Saturday, January 20. Hosted on a 2-kilometer loop course at Pole Green Park, Ellie was excited to take on the frigid conditions and bone-chilling wind and seek a return trip to the World XC Championships for Team USA. Despite a persistent head cold that left her with limited breathing capability, Ellie was determined to race the 6KM course to earn one of the six spots on Team USA to compete at the upcoming World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Belgrade, Serbia on March 30. New for 2024, the race organizers added 6 barriers per loop, 4 logs and 2 hay bales, which added a dynamic element to the racing.

With many U20 women racing without tights, the race went out very quickly and Ellie worked her way into the lead pack within the first 500m, being mindful of the strong headwinds in the opening section of the course. At 1K there was a lead pack of 11 athletes who were vying for the 6 spots on Team USA and Ellie was helping to dictate the race by setting the pace. By 2K, the lead pack had dwindled to 9 athletes and Ellie navigated the tangents and tucked into the pack to smartly avoid the headwind. Reaching the halfway mark, Ellie was content to race with the lead pack as it was now down to 8 athletes. Entering the final 2KM loop, the racing began after the lead pack cleared the hay bales at 4K. Ellie found herself in 8th position and knew that she needed to make her move to get on the team by chasing the lead pack. By 5K, Ellie was in 6th position, only four seconds from the leaders and, more importantly, she held a 3-second lead over 7th place and a 7-second lead over 8th place. The last kilometer was a challenge for Ellie as she knew she needed to race hard to maintain her qualifying position. Ellie dug deep and crossed the line in sixth place and was promptly rewarded with an American flag for earning her fourth Team USA selection in 12 months. With the cold, windy conditions and her head cold, this was Ellie’s hardest challenge yet to make a US Team.

                 

Team USA heads to the World Cross Country Championships in Belgrade, Serbia on March 30

Congrats to Zariel Macchia on her second win at USATF U20 Cross Country. Five of the top 6 places were secured by high school athletes: Zariel Macchia in first, Allie Zealand in second, Mary Bonner Dalton in fourth, Maddie Gardiner in fifth and Ellie in sixth. NC State freshman Jolena Quarzo finished third.

Congrats to Ellie on booking a return trip to World XC with last year’s bronze medal winning teammates Zariel Macchia and Allie Zealand. Special thanks to Steve Taylor for hosting and managing a terrific USATF Cross Country Championship at Pole Green Park.

Run Blog Run Recap

Runner's Gazette Recap

Dyestat/Runnerspace Recap

Milesplit Recap

                                  

World Athletics Cross Country Championships
Belgrade, Serbia - Saturday, May 30, 2024

Ellie Shea leads Team USA U20 Women at World Cross Country Championships in Belgrade, Serbia
Repeats as the Team USA leader, places 15th overall and leads U20 Women to 4th place team

After World Athletics announced their decision to move the World Cross Country Championships from Croatia to Serbia and push it back 6 weeks to March 30, Ellie carefully decided to reshape her competitive season and training schedule. She had previously decided to de-emphasize the fall cross country season after racing on the track through August. Ellie elected to run a limited fall “mini-season” of Foot Locker Northeast, BU Season Opener and Foot Locker Nationals. Ellie used these races to kick-off her training calendar after a well-designed layoff.

Working towards World Cross on its new date and location, Ellie prioritized her training block. An ill-timed head cold made qualification at USA Cross Country in Richmond a decidedly more strenuous outing than anticipated. However, with a Team USA berth at stake, Ellie ran her way to the final qualifying position by taking sixth in the USA Cross Country U20 Championship. Knowing that her fitness had improved since Foot Locker Nationals, Ellie was buoyed by the 22 second spread from 1st to 6th, as it also indicated that she was starting to close the gaps to her new Team USA teammates from when they raced 42 days prior at Balboa Park. Ellie earned her fourth Team USA squad in 13 months and was thrilled to return to World Cross with Zariel Macchia and Allie Zealand who were on the bronze medal winning team in Bathurst. Joining them to race in Belgrade were Team USA newcomers Mary Bonner Dalton, Maddie Gardiner, and NC State freshman Jolena Quarzo.

To help get her legs turned over and gain a lowkey race experience before WAXC, Ellie elected to race the NBNI mile with many of her friends from across the USA. Ellie trained through NBNI and ran a modest 4:48 mile to place 8th.

Belgrade 2024

Ellie arrived in Belgrade on Tuesday and explored the course in the Park of Friendship to get her bearings. After her shakeout at the course on Wednesday morning, the rest of Team USA arrived in Belgrade. Thursday included an up-tempo session, followed by strides and rehearsals on the hay maze. Ellie took one attempt at hurdling the hay bales and decided to incorporate that into her race strategy. Friday was lowkey with a pre-meet shakeout, team photos and the technical meeting.

Race Day in Belgrade

Saturday was race day and first on the World Champs docket was the U20 Women’s race. Under clear blue skies and 75 degree weather, warmer than any temperatures in Belgrade on that date in the prior ten years, Team USA came into the race looking to defend their bronze medal from Bathurst. Unbeknownst to Ellie, World Athletics elected to recognize Ellie in their pre-race opening ceremony as the two time gold medalist from the 2023 Pan Am U20 1500m and 3000m. It was quite the unexpected honor, but it did place Ellie on the front line for the start.

With a sweeping U-turn located only 300m into the race, it was critical to establish position early so as not to get caught out. Ellie methodically moved forward into the lead pack of 20-25 athletes in the field of 83 women. Determined to race within herself due to the unseasonably warm weather conditions, Ellie allowed a gap to develop between her and the lead pack. Halfway through the race, Ellie was the top American on the course, sitting in 16th place, 25 seconds off the lead and 7 seconds behind the UK’s highly touted Innes Fitzgerald, the undefeated European U20 Cross Country Champion. Ellie carefully started winding up the pace, running the tangents and navigating the various obstacles on the course, which she found a fun addition to the race experience.

Entering the third lap, Ellie knew she needed to assert herself. Moving deftly forward, Ellie quickly closed the 7 second gap to Innes to a mere 2.5 seconds entering the straightaway leading to signature hay maze. Ellie opted to go full speed at the first hay bale barrier to not break her surging momentum and landed with full forward speed. Exiting the hay maze, Ellie saw her opportunity to press and decisively pass Innes on the flat heading towards the blue carpeted artificial hill. Accelerating up the incline, Ellie dispatched the European U20 Cross Country Champion without resistance. The race was on and Ellie started driving towards the Uganda runners ahead of her. Exiting the final mini-hill, Ellie used the slope to propel her into the finishing chute. With only 300m to catch the two Ugandan athletes ahead of her, Ellie willed herself forward, battling the fatigue and heat to place 15th overall, just one second behind Vicky Chekwemboi in 14th and three seconds behind Keziah Chebet in 13th. Ellie was the top non-African finisher and top American finisher for the second consecutive World Cross U20 Women’s Championship. Whether it’s racing in Bathurst or Belgrade, Ellie Shea cemented her legacy as one of the best cross country runners in Team USA history with 2 top 15 World Cross finishes.

Ellie waited at the finish line for her Team USA teammates to arrive. Allie Zealand was next in 16th place only 18 seconds behind Ellie. With two finishers in the top 20, Ellie and Allie were forced to anxiously wait for Mary Bonner Dalton and Zariel Macchia to finish. Mary Bonner reached the finish in 28th place with Zariel two seconds behind in 29th place for the fourth and final scorer for Team USA. Jolena Quarzo placed 41st and Maddie Gardiner finished in 49th. Although Team USA did not defend their bronze medal from Bathurst, they acquitted themselves with a respectable fourth place team finish, behind Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. The US women narrowly beat the highly praised UK team, which had won the European U20 team title in December, by a mere two points and the strong team from Japan by ten points.

There is a lot of thanks to be shared on Ellie’s journey to Belgrade. To the Foot Locker Northeast and National organizers, you supported and encouraged Ellie and her decisions to pursue her own path and not worry about domestic performances. To the USA XC race organizers in Richmond, you made this journey possible. To the Team USA staff and managers in Belgrade (and last year in Bathurst!), you were instrumental in making this journey to Australia and Serbia a reality. To the LOC team in Belgrade, who organized a World Championships on an accelerated time schedule and made the athletes feel welcome and celebrated, you hosted a fantastic championship experience and your city of Belgrade should be proud! Thank you to World Athletics leadership for continuing to emphasize the importance of World Cross Country Championships and making it a priority in the calendar! We look forward to welcoming the world to Tallahassee in 2026 for the next World Cross Country Championships.

   

U20 Women Team Scores

1st place, Ethiopia, 12 points

2nd place, Kenya, 28 points

3rd place, Uganda, 48 points

4th place, USA, 88 points

5th place Great Britain, 90 points

6th place, Japan, 98 points

7th place, Australia, 138 points

8th place, France, 160 points


Photo Gallery

Women’s U20 Photo Gallery
To watch the full U20 Women’s race, replays are available on Peacock.


Race Recaps

USATF

Letsrun Post-Race Interview

Dyestat/Runnerspace

Bay State Running

Belmontonian


Congratulations to Ellie and the entire Team USA U20 squad on a memorable performance in Belgrade!

                                  

Events

Events 7th 8th Fresh. Soph. Junior Senior HS PRS
400m (o)       1:03.71 1:03.71
800m (i)  2:21.85  2:27.16  2:08.59 2:08.59
800m (o)  2:12.30 2:12.30
1000m  2:59   2:44.51 2:44.51
1500m (i)  4:48.46  4:21.42 4:22.67 4:21.42
1500m (o) 4:43.39 4:14.35 4:14.24 4:14.24
Mile (i)          4:40.01 4:40.76  4:48.41  4:40.01
Mile (o)  5:17.90   5:20.5   4:43.73   4:40.58   4:37.22  4:37.22
Mile (road)  4:45.42   4:41 4:51.19 4:41
3000m (i)  9:30.64   9:08.54   9:02.02  9:02.02
3000m (o)       9:16.74 9:05.78   9:05.78
3200m (o)         9:50.19   9:50.19
2 Mile (i) 9:52.35 9:49.82 9:49.82
2 Mile (o)  10:10.49   9:56.11 9:53.36 9:53.36
5000m (i) 15:49.47 15:46.28 15:46.28
5000m (o) 16:10.42 16:30.51 16:10.42
5K XC Franklin Park 17:12 17:12
5K XC Van Cortlandt 18:43 17:55 17:10.7 17:10.7
5K XC Balboa Park - 16:55.1 16:55.1
6K XC Franklin Park 21:37 21:37
6K XC Pole Green Park 19:47.5 19:47.5
10km (road) 34:11 34:11
 

Awards & Recognition

Junior
2023 NBNI 5000m Champion, All-American
Girls 5000m #2 All-Time US High School
Fastest U18 5000m indoor in the world in 2023
2023 NBNI 2 Mile Champion, All-American
Girls 2 Mile #4 All-Time US High School
Fastest U18 and U20 2 Mile in the world in 2023
Girls 3000m #2 All-Time US High School
2023 NBNI Mile 3rd Place, All-American
Girls 1000m #10 All-Time US High School
World Cross Bronze Medal for Team USA
Team USA's Top Runner at World Cross
World Athletics U20 Cross Country Championships, 10th Place
Qualifier for Team USA at World Cross
2022 USATF U20 Cross Country Championships, 2nd Place
2022 Champs Cross Country National Championships, 2nd Place
Massachusetts State Record at Balboa Park
2022 Champs Cross Country Northeast Championships, 1st Place
#5 All-time at Van Cortlandt Park
Massachusetts State Record at Van Cortlandt Park
Sophomore
National Sophomore Record, Girls Indoor 1500m
National Sophomore Record, Girls Indoor Mile
2022 New Balance Grand Prix Junior Girls Champion
2022 Millrose Games New Balance Junior Girls Invitee
2021 Eastbay Nationals Qualifier
2021 Eastbay Northeast, 6th place
2021 Mayor’s Cup, 3rd fastest HS Girl for Franklin Park 5K
Freshman
2021 Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Track and Field Runner of the Year
Massachusetts State Record Holder, Girls Outdoor 2 Mile
2021 NSAF Outdoor 5000m National Champion
National Freshman Record 5000m, breaking Kim Gallagher's 42-year freshman class record of 16:34.7h in 1979
Age 15 National 5000m age group record
Hayward Field facility record 5000m
#2 All-time Massachusetts 5000m
#3 All-time New England 5000m
#2 All-time at NSAF Outdoor Nationals 5000m
#12 All-time High School Outdoor 5000m
2021 Brooks PR, Girls Mile 5th place
2021 Adidas Boost Boston Games, Girls Junior Mile 3rd place
Middle School
2020 Northeast Indoor Classic 1500m Champion
Meet Record Holder-Northeast Indoor Classic 1500m
Mayor's Cup Youth Race Record Holder
2019 All-American USATF Cross Country Runner
2019 Middle School State Champion 800m and 1500m
2019 USATF New England 1500m Champion
2019 Adrian Martinez Youth Mile Champion
Middle School Cross Country 7th Grade Course Record Holder
Middle School Cross Country 8th Grade Race Champion

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