Athlete of the Week: 10 questions with Ellie Grammas, Loyola cross-country and track
Ellie Grammas, of Niles, is a senior runner for the Ramblers. She is a four-time All-Conference finisher and placed sixth in the regional on Saturday, Oct. 22.
1. Do you have any pre-run or pre-race rituals?
Yea, I have a few. They are pretty simple actually. When I tie up my shoes about 15 minutes before the start line, I tuck the bows of my laces into the third cross of my shoe, and at the starting line, I do six stride outs. And then as a team on the third stride out we pray a Hail Mary and do a little hands-in thing.
2. What do you enjoy most about distance running?
I really enjoy being able to get to know my teammates. I think running is a very unique sport. Basically the whole practice, you get to chat with different girls and learn about them and their days. And then there are times when you have to run on your own and I think it’s nice to take time and be with your thoughts and reflect — step away from all the chaotic things.
3. What are your plans for next year?
I will be running Division I cross-country and track. It is pretty recent news and I’m very excited. I’m looking forward to continuing my athletic and academic career. I just verbally committed to Southern Methodist University (Dallas).
4. Why SMU?
First, the coaching staff is amazing. They are awesome. That is one thing that attributed to my decision. The team there is amazing. I got to spend time with the women once and texting them to get to know them. In terms of academics, I think it’s a really good fit, and in terms of resources, they offer a lot. I know it’s a place I can be very successful academically and athletically.
5. What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not running?
I like just outdoor activities. Chicago is very limited with its weather, so I take advantage of it in the summer and the fall, even just walking around in nature. But also kayaking, paddle boarding, going for walks, ice skating, cross-country skiing. Anything in terms of outdoors I enjoy.
6. What is your dream job?
I’ve been working with the Loyola football team this summer and a bit during the season. I discovered a love for athletics and the medical side of it. So athletic training for like a professional sports team would be awesome.
7. If you could play another sport, what would it be?
I feel like tennis would be really cool. I’m not very skilled at it. I don’t have very good hand-eye coordination, hence why I discovered tennis. This summer I watched the U.S. Open and Wimbledon and I think it would be cool. It’s very fun to watch. It’s a very impressive sport.
8. If you’re in Walgreens with a couple bucks, what are you buying?
I always go for a Ben and Jerry’s cup of ice cream. I am a big ice cream person. I always want to try new flavors. I have caramel brownie in the fridge right now, but I pick a new one each time.
9. What is something people do not know about you?
My grandpa came from a family of eight siblings, so I have a lot of extended cousins on my dad’s side. So we have huge family reunions. Some are local and a few in LA and a few in Texas.
10. With two races left, how do you want this season to finish?
I’ve been fortunate to have a great group of girls and great team camaraderie at Loyola. We have two races left with sectionals this Saturday and our goal is to make it out of there and to state. I would love to end with these group of girls down in Peoria. If we make it out there, I would love to get a great finish. … This season we’ve been finding someone to run for and I’ve been running for my teammates this year and it’s been a big part of my running experience this year. With committing recently, I’ve found that is really important. So we’re putting it all out there with 10 days left.
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Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319