Name: Tucker Ellis
School: Orono High School
What was your most memorable race/meet?
Definitely the State Championship Cross-Country race when I was a sophomore. It was my first State Championship and the atmosphere felt surreal. Seeing everybody lined up on the field at Twin Brook and hearing all the spectators crowded together, screaming, gave me a huge adrenaline rush.
Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
Big shoutout to the Maine Coast Waldorf boys. We've battled for the State Championship every year since I've been on the team and they always motivate us to achieve at the highest level.
What was your greatest accomplishment?
Winning the state title in Cross-Country when I was a sophomore. The friendship and camaraderie between all the boys on that team was unforgettable, and we had the fastest 1-5 split in school history.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your xc/track&field career in high school?
I definitely regret not taking this sport seriously when I was younger. I struggled to find motivation and didn't have a real training schedule until my sophomore year, so I definitely wish I pushed myself harder as a freshman.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
I had to miss the State Championship in Cross-Country as a junior because of a serious hip flexor injury, and I wasn't able to return to running for a few months after that. During that time, I struggled a lot with feelings of hopelessness. Our team was in contention for a state title, so watching from the sidelines and feeling like I was unable to support my teammates was heartbreaking.
What will you miss the most?
The bus rides. Easily the bus rides. One of my teammates always brought a speaker and we would all sit in the back of the buys and sing along to classic rock songs.
What advice you would give to younger athletes?
Don't take your fitness and opportunity to compete for granted. Take it seriously. Train hard and stretch well, and it will pay off.
What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
Shoutout to Coach White. He has been one of the most influential people in my life. He taught me that you can only be a successful, healthy runner if you can find a balance between competition and fun/pleasure. He always reminded me to not put too much pressure on myself and smile at least once during each race.
How do you feel about missing your senior season due to the coronavirus?
I understand why it had to be cancelled and I'm glad precautions are being taken, but with that being said, it's definitely upsetting. I believe I speak for many seniors when I say this was our last chance to compete well, prove ourselves, and spend time with our closest friends and teammates of the past four years.
What are your college plans?
I haven't committed at this time, but I'll most likely be going to Bowdoin College to study Earth and Oceanographic Sciences and Environmental Studies. I'm not sure if I'll be running yet.
Who would you like to say thank you to?
Coach White and Coach Dexter again and again. Those two coaches are the reasons why I began to love running and the reasons why I continue to love it to this day. They are so genuine and passionate and make every practice and meet a new, memorable experience.