Joseph’s Ellyse Tingelstad said she still feels the pressure of maintaining the tradition of success started by her sister, Isabelle.
Yet the junior standout is casting her own shadow in the 1A track and field world.
Tingelstad claimed two of the Eagles’ three individual state titles at the 1A track and field championships in Monmouth this weekend, winning the family’s fifth consecutive title in the 1A girls 3,000 Friday and repeating as champion in the 1A girls 1,500 Saturday to help lift the Eagles into third place as a team.
“It’s really indescribable, honestly,” Tingelstad said. “When I was growing up, I never thought running would be my thing, and then I watched my sister start doing it and really excelling. I still look up to her and think she is so fast. Being able to have her to look up to and keep me going, it’s an amazing thing.”
Tingelstad was the defending champion and heavy favorite in both races, yet admitted to carrying nerves ahead of the 3,000. Isabelle was a three-time champion in the event — the final time with Ellyse taking second behind her in 2017.
“I woke up (Friday) morning and said, ‘I have to win. I have to keep it in our name,’” Ellyse said.
While the junior continues to look up to Isabelle, she has an accomplishment uniquely her own as a two-time state champion in the 1,500, which she finished Saturday in 4:57.33, more than 13 seconds ahead of second place and just two seconds shy of the state meet record.
“People come up to me and say, ‘Your sister didn’t do that, that’s so cool.’ I still think she is way better than me,” Ellyse said. “I definitely (put) pressure on myself because I don’t want to let myself down and let other people down (but) I feel like people (make more of it) than we do.”
The 3,000 on Friday quickly became a two-woman race, with Tingelstad and teammate Ella Coughlan, who finished second, breaking away from the pack just three laps into the race. The duo continued neck-and-neck before Tingelstad pulled ahead with about three laps to go to finish in 10:49.96, less than a second off her winning pace from a year ago. Coughlan followed at 11:00.25, more than 30 seconds ahead of third place.
“I looked up and saw I was going to hit 11 (minutes) and started sprinting, and (thought to myself), ‘Where did all this energy come from?’ If I had somebody to push me (at the end) I think I would have done better, but I’m really happy with my race,” she said.
Coughlan, who will run for Eastern Oregon next season, claimed her own state championship Saturday in the 1A girls 800 in a time of 2:22.08.
“That was absolutely amazing,” the senior said of winning state. She added she knew she was a big favorite in the race, “But even then I was trying to focus on myself. I was trying to get the state record, and I ended up 0.3 off but I still PR’d and I’m still happy.”
Coughlan and Tingelstad were also two of the four legs of the Eagles’ 4x400 relay team, along with Sabrina Albee and Haley Miller, that took second in 4:18.52, meaning the duo accounted for 42 of the team’s 46.5 points.
Miller also made the podium individually, tying for eighth in the 1A girls pole vault at 8 feet.
The Eagles finished behind only Adrian (57 points) and St. Paul (54) in the team standings.