Community School of Davidson senior Malia Ellington has 14 individual state track championships in three seasons.
Ellington has proven she can win on any surface. She has won the 1A state cross-country titles the past two years. She has won the 1A 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter championship the past two seasons. And she won indoor state titles in the 1,000-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs in February. She repeated as indoor champ in each of those events and was named meet MVP for the second straight season.
“I’m always racing to get the new best time,” Ellington said. “There’s always a state record or school record or something you want to break. Once you break a record, you can always set new goals. I’m always racing the clock to better and faster than I was before.”
Ellington has also excelled on the national stage at meets like the Penn Relays, where she took 4th last April in the high school girls’ mile championship.
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The CSD senior has also been the No. 1 triathlete in the nation for much of her high school career, competing across the country.
The most recent big-time result for Ellington, 18, was at the New Balance Grand Prix in Boston, where she finished second in the mile against a national field, posting the 4th-fastest time in the country in the event (4:53.63, according to trackandfieldnews.com).
Ellington is also an all-star student, carrying a 4.8 grade-point average. She signed to Harvard in November. And this spring, she’ll try to win three more state titles to bring her total to 17. She’ll compete in the the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters. She also hopes to win another 3,200-meter relay state crown as well.
“As a freshman (high school), I never expected to have all of this success,” Ellington said. “When I think about all the state championships, it is kind of crazy, kind of hard to believe. But, it definitely never gets old (winning championships).”
Charlotte Observer Track Athletes to Watch
Malia Ellington, Community School of Davidson, Sr.: 14-time state individual state champion, Harvard signee often running to break her own records as she pursues three more titles this outdoor season.
Anna Cockrell, Providence Day, Jr.: Providence Day junior has eight state titles in just two seasons and posted the fastest 60-meter hurdles in the nation this winter (8.43).
Gabriele Cunningham, Mallard Creek, Sr.: N.C. State signee seventh-fastest 55-meter hurdles in the country this winter (7.04); 4A state indoor runner-up in the 55-meter hurdles.
Grace Sullivan, Providence, Sr.: East Carolina signee, reigning Observer cross country runner of the year.
Lexi King, Marvin Ridge, So.: Mavericks’ standout already one of the best distance runners at any level, winning 1600-meter, 3A state title indoors this winter.
Khayla Dawson, Olympic, Jr.: One of the best throwers, won 4A state indoor title in the shot put.
Mary Prouty, Myers Park, Sr.: Mustang standout finished seventh in the 3200-meter at the 4A state indoor championships.
Nick Linder, Providence Day, Sr.: Harvard signee and distance runner is a three-time state champ.
Vincent Crisp, North Mecklenburg, Sr.: Texas Tech signee was 4A state indoor runner-up in the 1000-meter run.
Elijah Inuwa, Central Academy, Sr.: Two-time defending, 2A state champion in the 800-meter (outdoor) is looking for a three-peat, won 1000 and 1600-meter indoor state titles.
Marcus Abraham, Victory Christian, Sr.: Defending 1A/2A state champion in the discus and shot put is among the best in the Observer, state in both events in any class.
Juwan Crowder, Forest Hills, Sr.: One of the fastest sprinters in the state at any level, coming off his first individual state championship, winning the 1A/2A state indoor championship in 55-meter dash.
Ty Jaye Robbins, Piedmont, Sr.: 400-meter defending 3A state champion, ran the second-fastest time in the state outdoors last year regardless of classification.
Keon Howe, Mallard Creek, Sr. and Chris Garrick, Marvin Ridge, Sr.: Howe was the state 4A indoor high jump champion, Garrick the state 3A indoor champion.