Love for the sport fuels Summit’s Ella Hagen to freshman-year debut at state track meet
Summit High School freshman Ella Hagen is well known in the area for being a talented endurance athlete, so it should come as no surprise that Hagen has qualified for the Colorado State Track and Field Championships after her first year of high school competition.
Hagen has qualified in two individual distance events, the 1600-meter and 3200-meter runs. Impressively, she is currently ranked within the top 10 in her division, easily making the top 18 cutoff for the state track meet which will occur next weekend from May 19-21.
Instead of racing on May 13 at the St. Vrain Invitational in Longmont, Hagen decided to rest in order to prepare for state.
Hagen and her father, Mike, who oversees the distance events for the Summit track and field team, are confident that Ella’s rankings will not drop below the qualifying threshold over the last weekend of track meets.
“I personally feel that it is easy for me to over-race,” Ella Hagen said of not racing at the final regular season meet. “St. Vrain is a very competitive meet. No matter what happens, I am going to run hard, and it will take a toll on my body. So I am going to rest up and let state be the main focus.”
Ella has been participating in endurance sports for the majority of her life, dabbling in both running and Nordic skiing since she was very young.
This past winter, Ella placed fourth in both the classic and skate Nordic skiing disciplines at the 2022 Colorado State Skiing Championships near Winter Park. Her mother, Eva, oversees the Summit High School Nordic ski team.
Ella comes from a family with a strong endurance background. Her father, mother and brother, Luc, have all competed in endurance sports.
Luc even ran at the collegiate level for five years in Golden while competing for the Colorado School of Mines.
“I’ve been running for really as long as I can remember,” Ella said. “I fell in love with the endurance sports. It’s part of my family and what I love to do.”
Ella fondly remembers growing up alongside Luc and looking up to him for inspiration to be a successful long-distance runner herself.
At the state track and field meet Luc’s junior or senior year, Ella remembers running alongside the track overcome with emotion as she watched her older brother run to a 20-second personal best in the 3200-meter run.
“When he finished, I just remember running out onto the track and jumping into his arms,” Ella said. “I didn’t even know what was happening or know why he was so excited, but obviously running had given him that joy. After seeing that, I deiced that’s what I wanted to do.”
With a deep love for both running and Nordic skiing, Ella says she wants to pursue running more seriously in the future.
“I want to keep following my passions and be somebody like my brother was to me — somebody who can inspire other people to run,” Ella said. “I want to continue chasing my dreams and run with my future — potentially running in college and further than that.”
One of the reasons Ella enjoys running so much is the love and support she feels from her daily training partners at Summit High School. Additionally, she is fond of the feeling running gives her whenever she laces up her shoes and hits the pavement.
“I feel most comfortable when I am running,” Ella said. “It feels like my thoughts are the most clear. I am just the most myself when I run.”
Ella is hoping to have her own joyful and memorable experience like her brother Luc had several years ago, but she isn’t too concerned about how she places.
“Being able to race in the states meet is amazing and feels so cool, especially freshman year knowing there are going to be so many other opportunities,” Ella said. “I just want to have fun in this meet.”
Ella is scheduled to compete in the 4A girl’s 3200-meter run on Friday, May 20, at 8:20 a.m. and the 4A girl’s 1600-meter on Saturday, May 21, at 11:10 a.m.
All Colorado state track and field events for classifications 2A-5A will take place at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood.
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