Brittny Ellis from Warren High (Gurnee, Ill.) entered the Illinois state track meet as a two-time state champion in the 400 meters and a two-time medalist in the 200.
But the Miami signee’s quest to become the first winner of the state’s big-school sprint triple crown since Morgan Park’s Alexandria Anderson did it back-to-back in 2004-05 would be conquering the 100 meters, a race Ellis had never run in the state meet.
The results didn’t reflect her dislike as she won the 100 in 11.85 seconds.
She then took the 400 in 54.19, beating the closest competitor by 1.35 seconds.
“I know most people don’t run the 400 like I do,” Ellis told The Tribune. “Usually that works in my favor. Everyone freaks out: ‘Why is this kid sprinting the first 200?’ That’s just what I do.”
Ellis then won the 200 in 24.38 seconds to complete the triple crown.
Anderson, by the way, would go on to the University of Texas, where she was a 17-time All-American and had success internationally running for Team USA.
While Ellis was working on the triple crown, her classmates were having their graduation ceremony at Northwestern.
“Missing graduation, while it’s sad, I knew I was going to miss it, even going back to last year,” she told The Tribune. “So I wouldn’t say I’m extremely upset. I knew it was coming.”
Ellis finished with a 4.36 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale along with being the most decorated track athlete in school history.
Ellis and other Warren track athletes who competed in the state meet will receive their diplomas at a school board meeting.