NCAA Women’s Heptathlon — In Doubt Until The Very End

Winner Georgia Ellenwood got in her long jumping early in the final day, before the skies opened. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

The 7-event battle between Wisconsin’s Georgia Ellenwood and Georgia’s Louisa Grauvogel came down to the final discipline. After Ellenwood produced the crucial edge in the 800, it took a while for her to even feel victorious. “I think I’m still processing the whole thing and it doesn’t really feel like I won yet. I think it hasn’t really sunk in yet,” she said, after tallying 6146 points to Grauvogel’s PR 6074.

It all started fortuitously for the 22-year-old Canadian, who opened up with a PR 13.60 in the hurdles. Grauvogel, though, popped to a nearly 100-point edge with her 12.95, a lifetime best by 0.17. The favored Ellenwood narrowed that gap to 21 by winning the high jump with an outdoor PR 5-11¼ (1.81) while Grauvogel topped out at 5-8¾ (1.75).

In the shot, the two rivals were close: Grauvogel 41-1 (12.52), Ellenwood 40-11 (12.47), giving the German a 25-point edge overall. She took a much bigger leap in the 200, where her 23.72 led the field, as Ellenwood ran 24.33, another PR. At the end of Day 1, Grauvogel led Ellenwood by 84 points, 3752–3668. In 3rd was Tyra Gittens of Texas A&M at 3548.

Said Ellenwood, “I would’ve liked to throw a little bit further in the shot put and maybe run a little faster in the 200, but overall I think I’m on PR pace, so I’m happy with Day 1.” The damp weather didn’t bother her at all, she explained. “In Vancouver, it rains every day, so I’m totally comfortable in this and it’s not too cold.”

In the swirling winds on Day 2—but before the rains came—Ellenwood nabbed the only illegally-aided jump of the day with her 19-9¾ (6.04). “I just wanted to get my foot on the board,” she said. “I knew there were big tailwinds, so it was just about getting my foot on the board and jumping.” Grauvogel only made 18-8¾ (5.71) and Ellenwood had a 16-point lead overall, her first of the competition.

The javelin was much closer, Grauvogel (142-8/42.50) just edging Ellenwood (142-6/43.45), leaving the Badger with a narrow 5-point margin going into the 800.

At the starting line, Grauvogel knew she had a tough task, with a PR of 2:17.42 compared to Ellenwood’s 2:14.28. To have a chance at winning, she would have to stay very close. Said Ellenwood, “I had to be confident going into the 800. I kept looking at the screen to see if Louisa was close. I just had to keep in my own head and know that I was capable of running 2:15 like I always have, and just executing the way that I have so many times before and to just not change anything when I came to the championships.”

She missed her PR total by 27, finishing with a 2:15.76, realizing before the finish that Grauvogel (2:19.92) could not keep up. The 3-time Big 10 champ said, “After five years of this I’ve matured so much as an athlete, and I think that’s what I’m the most thankful for. I know mentally that I can do it, and not once during this championship did I believe that I couldn’t do it. That’s where I’ve matured as an athlete, I can come out here and be on top and believe that I can do that.”

Madeline Holmberg of Penn State scored 5833 to grab 3rd ahead of UCLA’s Kendall Gustafson (5800). Kansas State’s No. 2 seed Nina Schultz, troubled by an injured quad, slipped to 7th at 5778.


NCAA WOMEN’S HEPTATHLON RESULTS

(June 08–09)

1. Georgia Ellenwood’ (Wi) 6146

(13.60 PR, 5-11¼/1.81 out PR, 40-11/12.47, 24.33 PR [3668-2], 19-9¾/6.04w, 142-6/43.45, 2:15.76 [2478]);

2. **Louisa Grauvogel’ (Ga) 6074 PR

(12.95, 5-8¾/1.75, 41-1/12.52, 23.72 [3752-1], 18-8¾/5.71, 142-8/43.50, 2:19.92 [2322]);

3. *Madeline Holmberg (PennSt) 5833

(14.06, 5-4¼/1.63, 44-10¾/13.68, 24.29 [3467-6], 19-8/5.99, 134-2/40.91, 2:19.16 [2366]);

4. Kendall Gustafson (UCLA) 5800

(14.19, 5-8¾/1.75, 41-2¼/12.55, 25.14 [3440-8], 18-11¾/5.78, 141-11/43.27, 2:18.27 [2360]);

5. ***Amanda Frøynes’ (Fl) 5794 PR

(14.27, 5-8¾/1.75, 40-¾/12.21, 25.60 [3365-17], 18-11¼/5.77, 146-5/44.63, 2:14.98 [2429]);

6. Alissa Brooks-Johnson (WaSt) 5789

(13.84, 5-5¼/1.66, 42-2¾/12.87, 24.93 [3419-11], 18-9¼/5.72, 140-7/42.87, 2:15.69 [2370]);

7. **Nina Schultz’ (KsSt) 5778

(13.71, 5-8¾/1.75, 40-0/12.19, 25.49 [3452-7], 19-3¼/5.87, 133-0/40.55, 2:18.95 [2326]);

8. ***Tyra Gittens’ (TxAM) 5748

(13.31, 5-7¾/1.72, 40-9/12.42, 24.83 [3548-3], 20-1¾/6.14, 121-11/37.17, 2:29.95 [2200]);

9. *Ayesha Champagnie’ (Mn) 5740

(14.03, 5-4¼/1.63, 44-7/13.59, 24.89 [3409-13], 18-7/5.66, 160-2/48.82, 2:25.79 [2331]);

10. Jaclyn Siefring (Akr) 5725

(14.19, 5-7¾/1.72, 38-9½/11.82, 24.69 [3395-14], 19-5½/5.93, 117-7/35.85, 2:13.53 [2330]);

11. Ashtin Zamzow (Tx) 5667 PR

(13.85, 5-5¼/1.66, 41-2½/12.56, 25.00 [3391-15], 18-5¼/5.62, 141-10/43.24, 2:20.92 [2276]);

12. *Hope Bender (UCSB) 5653

(13.73, 5-5¼/1.66, 39-¼/11.89, 24.21 [3438-9], 18-5¾/5.63, 117-7/35.85, 2:15.24 [2215]);

13. *Maya Neal’ (Tn) 5555

(13.77, 5-4¼/1.63, 40-1¼/12.22, 24.69 [3373-16], 19-8/5.99, 119-10/36.54, 2:26.70 [2182]);

14. Shaina Burns (TxAM) 5553

(14.06, 5-5¼/1.66, 45-1¾/13.76, 25.98 [3353-18], 18-5¾/5.63, 133-3/40.62, 2:23.05 [2200]);

15. Patricia Ortega’ (Akr) 5542 PR

(13.54, 5-7¾/1.72, 36-¾/10.99, 24.85 [3418-12], 17-6/5.33, 116-1/35.38, 2:14.88 [2124]);

16. *Lyndsey Lopes (USC) 5504

(13.48, 5-7¾/1.72, 34-5½/10.50, 24.40 [3437-10], 18-4¼/5.59, 121-11/37.16, 2:27.24 [2067]);

17. ***Aliyah Whisby (KennSt) 5490 PR

(13.60, 5-8¾/1.75, 37-6¾/11.45, 24.38 [3522-4], 19-3¼/5.87, 88-7/27.01, 2:26.43 [1968]);

18. Aaron Howell (Mi) 5404

(13.86, 5-6½/1.69, 42-1½/12.84, 26.93 [3275-19], 17-4¼/5.29, 142-0/43.28, 2:24.84 [2129]);

19. **Emile Berge’ (SAl) 5314

(14.17, 5-6½/1.69, 37-2½/11.34, 25.93 [3217-21], 17-7½/5.37, 126-3/38.49, 2:22.05 [2097])4;

20. **Ariel Okorie (KsSt) 5189

(13.78, 5-3/1.60, 31-7½/9.64, 25.41 [3102-23], 19-2½/5.85, 109-5/33.35, 2:26.09 [2087]);

… dnfs—

**Michelle Atherley (Mia) 4315 (6)

(13.22, 5-6½/1.69, 34-11/10.64, 24.04 [3481-5], 19-6¼/5.95, nm) ;

**Grace McKenzie’ (McN) 3838 (5)

(13.92, 5-4¼/1.63, 35-4½/10.78, 25.46 [3187-22], 17-6/5.33, dns);

*Kaylee Hinton (TxT) 3256 (4)

(13.66, 5-6½/1.69, 29-4¾/8.96, 24.59 [3256-20], dns);

Alyssa Thompson (Az) 618 (1)

(16.81, dns).


HEPTATHLON LEADERS BY EVENT

100H: 1. Grauvogel 1132; 2. Atherley 1091; 3. Gittens 1078; 4. Lopes 1053; 5. Ortega 1044; 6. Ellernwood & Whisby 1036; 8. Kaylee Hinton 1027; 9. Schultz 1020; 10. Bender 1017

HJ: 1. Grauvogel 2048; 2. Ellenwood 2027; 3. Gittens 1957; 4. Whisby 1952; 5. Schultz 1936; 6. Atherley 1933; 7. Lopes 1932; 8. Ortega 1923; 9. Hinton 1869; 10. Gustafson 1868

SP: 1. Grauvogel 2744; 2. Ellenwood 2719; 3. Gittens 2646; 4. Schultz 2610; 5. Whisby 2577; 6. Gustafson 2566; 7. Howell 2557; 8. Burns 2554; 9. Froeynes 2542; 10. Brooks-Johnson 2526

200: 1. Grauvogel 3752; 2. Ellenwood 3668; 3. Gittens 3548; 4. Whisby 3522; 5. Atherley 3481; 6. Holmberg 3467; 7. Schultz 3452; 8. Gustafson 3440; 9. Bender 3438; 10. Lopez 3437

LJ: 1. Ellenwood 4530; 2. Grauvogel 4514; 3. Gittens 4441; 4. Whisby 4332; 5. Atherley 4315; 6. Holmberg 4313; 7. Schultz 4262; 8. tie, Gustafson & Siefring 4223; 10. Neal 4219

JT: 1. Ellenwood 5264; 2. Grauvogel 5259; 3. Gittens 5054; 4. Holmberg 4998; 5. Champagnie 4993; 6. Gustafson 4953; 7. Schultz 4940; 8. Brooks-Johnson 4906; 9. Froeynes 4901; 10. Zamzow 4856

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