VANCOUVER, Wash. — Ellyse Tingelstad continues to leave her imprint on the College of Idaho cross-country record books.
The former Joseph High School standout earned her second NAIA All-American nod Friday, Nov. 19, by taking eighth overall at the NAIA Women’s National Championships in Vancouver, Washington.
Tingelstad spent a large portion of the race in the top 10 on her way to a finishing time of 18:35.0. She was the top runner for C of I Friday — and the only one in the top 30 — as the Yotes came away with a fifth-place finish overall. C of I scored 183 points to finish behind Milligan (122), St. Francis, Illinois (141), Cornerstone (149) and Taylor (164).
“That was definitely a big downside I guess,” she said in an interview Monday, Nov 22. “We were not hoping for fifth. We had our sights on that No. 1 spot ... (especially after) being second two years in a row. Coming fifth was a bummer I would say.”
She said she told the team, though, that if the full effort was put in by each runner, that was what the team could ask for.
“We weren’t fully engaged like we should have been, but the sun still comes up the next day. We’re ready to get at it and go after it again next year.”
On Friday, Tingelstad moved right up with the leaders and hung there the entire race. According to athletic.net, which was providing live timing for the race, she was 18th at the 1K split, but less than 10 seconds off the pace.
“(I) was just given a race plan to be in contact with the leaders off the bat,” she said. “... What I was most nervous for was navigating that many people.”
By 2,000 meters in, she was up to 12th and fewer than 12 seconds behind the leader, who at the time was Ariana Anderson of Embry-Riddle. The sophomore moved into the top 10 by the 3K split, and actually crossed that barrier in 10:59.7, tied for seventh. She remained in seventh going into the final 1,000 before slipping one spot in the leadup to the finish line.
The finish puts Tingelstad in elite company among the top runners to don a C of I uniform. She becomes the eighth athlete in the women’s cross-country program to claim multiple All-Americans, and is just the sixth to earn a top-10 national finish individually. She is the first to be in the top 10 since Molly Vitale-Sullivan placed fifth in 2017, and the first CCC runner in the top 10 at nationals since Amelia Pullen of Warner Pacific in 2019.
“I don’t think that I have fully processed that,” she said. “I thought about it multiple times, and my perspective is so much different than last year. Last year, I wanted to get All-American, top 40. This year, it was, ‘You’re going (for) top 10, 15 — you should be with those girls.’ Coming out of it, it’s super weird to process. I remember thinking last year, looking at the top 10, thinking, ‘That’s crazy.’ Now I’m eighth.”