Charlie Obaugh RV & Outdoor Center Student Athlete of the Week: Ella Somers

In 2022 as a Junior at Broadway High School, Somers won the Class 3 Indoor State Championship in the high jump.
Published: Apr. 3, 2023 at 2:02 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Ella Somers is a future division one athlete who has set high jump records at two Valley High Schools.

“She’s been a huge asset for the team, I mean she’s everything that you would look for in an athlete. She’s the first one to get to practice and the last one to leave. Leadership, same thing she’s always willing to help younger athletes, she’s a team player,” said Matt Denlinger, Indoor and Outdoor Track Co-Head Coach at Harrisonburg High School.

In 2022 as a Junior at Broadway High School, Somers won the Class 3 Indoor State Championship in the high jump. She also holds the school’s indoor and outdoor high jump records. Somers transferred to Harrisonburg High School for her senior year and has already broken the school’s indoor high jump record.

“It’s definitely a good accomplishment to add to my list of accomplishments but now I’m trying to beat the outdoor record now that it’s outdoor but yeah I’m just looking for that,” said Somers, a senior at Harrisonburg High School.

For her coaches at HHS, Somers has been impressive to watch.

“She’s a hyper-competitive athlete, just hates to lose, cannot stand to lose. She broke our school record by 4 inches earlier this year, at the Regional meet she placed third, at the Class 5 State Championship she was the state runner up,” said Denlinger.

Somers has been running track since she was in 7th grade but said her senior year has been her favorite so far. She said there were a number of reasons she wanted to transfer for her senior year, including the higher level of competition. She said that she has been much happier at HHS.

“Coming here I feel like my look at track has changed a lot because I feel like the team is a lot more welcoming and it feels more like a family here,” she said. “My favorite part is probably just everyone on the team, getting to spend time with everyone and getting to know everyone.”

Somers is being recruited to run track by several division one colleges and has already received an offer from JMU. Her coach said that her dedication behind the scenes is a key to her success.

“One of her best leadership skills is she leads by example. She’s out there working hard and her teammates are like ‘oh man Ella is working hard I want to get out there because I want to be successful and compete and win like she does, if I work as hard as she does I’ll have the same success’,” said Denlinger.

Somers said that mindfulness has been another big key to her performance in the high jump.

“I do a lot of meditating before meets and stuff and I feel like that’s always helped me just stay in touch with my body,” she said.

Somers is also a great student with a 3.65 GPA. She hopes to study architectural and interior design in college.

“I take two dual enrollment classes so those have shown me a little bit of what college classes will be like and I think I’ve kind of gotten the hang of cutting out time to study and get work done,” she said.

Somers said that the experience of switching to a much larger school her senior year is something she thinks will benefit her in college.

“I think it’s definitely helped with my social skills and improved those coming here just because of how much bigger it is,” she said. “My favorite thing would probably be the diversity and all the different kinds of people you’ll find, I just made a lot of friends and it feels like it was worth it coming here.”

For any younger athletes who want to have success in track, Somers said that her advice would be to stick with it and work hard.

“I feel like in all my years of track every time a new season starts there’s a lot of people at first and then they start to all fade off. If you can stick to it you probably have a lot more potential than you think,” she said.