SPOTLIGHT: Shrine Catholic’s Ellie Kendell Gets Fan Choice Award

Voted 4Frenzy’s “Favorite Senior” on Cross Country team

Ellie Kendell running a course for XC.
Ellie Kendell running a course for XC. (2019)
  • Lived in Italy for 3 years
  • Brother runs professionally for Hanson’s Olympic Development team
  • Sister runs track and XC at MSU.
  • Favorite food is chicken tenders

Shrine Catholic High School – 17-year-old Ellie Kendell is the latest featured winner of Local 4′s 4Frenzy Fall Fan Choice Awards. As a student athlete on the cross country team at Shrine Catholic, Ellie was voted to be the “Favorite Senior.” Ellie said she began running in the 4th grade at age 9, and took a liking to the competitive nature of the sport.

“What made me love [cross country] is the feeling of accomplishment when all the work I put in pays off in the race,” she says.

Ellie feels that cross country has impacted her life in many ways over the years. “Without cross country I wouldn’t have found my passion for running," she says. “It has shaped me into someone who wants to work hard for their goals whether they are running related or not.”

When asked to describe her relationship with her team, Ellie’s response was that they are “incredibly close and supportive of each other."

"We love to laugh with one another, but when it’s time to race we work together and encourage one another,” she says. “We stick by each other through our wins and losses which makes the team really special.”

Since being a member of the cross country team, Ellie has won many accolades, including All-State Academic for division 4 during her sophomore and junior year. During her sophomore year she was top thirty, and junior year she placed third overall.

"This year and last year, I placed first at catholic leagues and regionals, " she adds. “This year, as a team, we won catholic leagues.”

As for the future, Ellie’s goal is to earn many other acknowledgements and achievements. “My goals going into the season are to break 18 minutes and place first at the state meet individually,” she says. “As a team, I want to win catholic leagues, regionals, and place well at states.”

Even though she has outlined her goals for her final season, Ellie has faced a few challenges along the way to achieving those goals. Ellie’s biggest challenge was getting injured this year at a regional meet.

“Within a few days of the meet I had a little pain in my fibula which turned into a stress fracture after I ran on it at the regional meet,” she says. “My team and I had qualified for states, but before I could see a doctor I knew I would not run with them at the state meet.”

She continued, “It was a struggle to walk on my leg after that race and once I saw a doctor I was given a boot and crutches for the next 4 or so weeks. It was a challenge to not reach all my goals I had been so set on reaching. It was not how I pictured ending my high school career.”

However, that’s not stopping Ellie. She’s currently focused on recovering and coming back stronger for the upcoming track season. “Of course this is a setback I cannot immediately overcome, but over time I will,” she says. “I can’t train by running yet, however I can focus on the training I can do like weights and exercises not involving my legs. I plan on fixing some of my training that caused the stress fracture in order to come back and reach my goals.”

After high school, Ellie plans to continue to run cross country in college. “To be able to continue doing the sport I love at a higher level would be so cool,” she says. She’s interested in attending Grand Valley State University or Michigan State University.

Congratulations, Ellie, on your award!

We’d like to thank our 4Frenzy sponsors for their support: DMC Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, Hungry Howie’s, Meijer, Southeast Michigan Ford Dealers, and Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.