Brian Pound

Langley’s Georgia Ellenwood recently graduated with honors from University of Wisconsin but before she left she presented her school with a historic gift, UW’s first NCAA Heptathlon championship. The heptathlon is a gruelling event featuring seven events over two days with a points formula awarded based on individual performances.  Georgia is bringing that talent to the Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome International Classic June 26-27 at Burnaby’s Swangard Stadium.

She will compete in two events, the 100-metre hurdles and the long jump. It will not take her long to introduce herself to the audience, the long jump is the third event on opening night. The 100-metre hurdles is the first event on the second night.

A six-time All-American, Georgia captured the NCAA heptathlon with 6,146 points, not far off her personal best of 6,173, the Big Ten Conference record for the event.

“I think I’m still processing the whole thing and it doesn’t really feel like I won yet,” she said. “I think it hasn’t really sunk in yet. I know so many great heptathletes who have come through this program and to know that I’m one of them and I’m the best one that’s come through Wisconsin hasn’t really hit me yet.”

The NCAA victory capped a historic career for Georgia who won three Big Ten Conference titles and qualified for the national championships every year she competed. She is the number ten ranked performer in NCAA history in the heptathlon.

“I decided to compete in the hurdles and long jump at the Jerome,”she said, “because I have been running consistently well in the hurdles so  this meet will help maintain the speed and technique that I’ve developed in that event. I rarely compete in the open long jump so I think competing in that event will give me an opportunity to see where I’m at, and hopefully to get six jumps instead of three.”

Georgia jumped a winning wind-aided 19 feet 9 ¾ inches on her first jump at the NCAA finals. Her time in the hurdles was 13.60 seconds.

This will mark Georgia’s second appearance at the Jerome meet. “I competed in the Harry Jerome meet in my last year of high school (grade 12). I believe I placed second in both the high jump and long jump, with a PB at that time of 1.78 in the high jump.”

As to the future following the Jerome meet? “The only competition I will be participating in is the Pan Am Combined events Cup in Ottawa July 3 and 4, so competing at the Harry Jerome will help my preparation for that competition. As to the heptathlon I didn’t have a personal point goal this season because as soon as I put a number in my head I focus too much on it and forget to have fun  in the process. But since I have scored close to 6,200 points twice this season that would be my next Hep total that I would hope to achieve.”

Georgia was an outstanding performer in the classroom, too. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and was named the Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient from Wisconsin, an award given by the Conference each year to one male and female graduating student athlete (all sports) from each of the 14 schools who had demonstrated the best combined athletic and academic proficiency. There an estimated 10,000 student athletes competing in all sports in the Big Ten.

The Jerome meet is actually a meet within a meet, highlighted by the Canada-China Sprint Challenge for the Pacific World Cup.