The Wolfpacker

May-June 2020

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 21 of 51

22 ■ THE WOLFPACKER FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR ELLY HENES ACCOMPLISHED ACCOMPLISHED Elly Henes Met Many Of Her Goals In A Championship-Winning Cross Country Season " I think an individual title in cross country is the hardest of any of the individual titles in the ACC to win. … She's won a couple of ACC track titles, but I know she really wanted the cross country one. Head coach Laurie Henes on her daughter Elly BY MATT CARTER A fter her running days are over, Elly Henes wants to become a sports psychologist. She appreciates the value of a strong mind in athletics to complement the physical train- ing. Her senior year may be a case in point. After winning ACC and NCAA regional titles in cross country and then finishing 10th nationally at the NCAA Champion- ships, she earned the honor as The Wolf- packer's Female Athlete of the Year. Henes' coach at NC State is her mother, Laurie, winner of the 1991 ACC cross coun- try title and a two-time All-American. Elly's father is Bob Henes, a three-time confer- ence champ and three-time All-American. The running genes were certainly there, but the pressure Elly applied on herself was not necessarily to live up to those legends. As a senior at Green Hope High School, Henes' team failed to defend its back-to- back state titles. "That was devastating to the team in high school," Laurie Henes remembered. Elly wanted to win four ACC cross coun- try team titles more than anything at NC State. Going into her last season, a repeat of what happened in high school, failing to win as a senior, weighed heavily. While many of Henes' goals at NC State centered around the team, she also had a few individually. Chiefly, she wanted to win an individual conference title in both indoor and outdoor track as well as cross country. After the spring of 2018, Henes was two-thirds there. She won the indoor 3,000 meters and the outdoor 5,000 meters that year. The cross country crown, though, eluded her. But rather than add a layer of pressure going into her senior season, Henes decided to take a different approach. "I stopped putting so much pressure on what training needed to look like," she explained. "I started just saying, 'Alright, I'm going to listen to my body. Whatever happens, happens.' I think that really helped me going into this year." A team trip to Flagstaff, Ariz., for a high- altitude training camp helped rejuvenate her as she tried the new approach. She started the season off with a win in the adidas XC Challenge in Cary and then added a top-10 finish in a competitive field at the Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Ind. The ACC Championships loomed on the first day of November in Blacksburg, Va.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolfpacker - May-June 2020