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Ellie Spelhaug: QC-Times athlete of the year

Avery Luepker, Social Media Manager

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Ellie Spelhaug is no stranger to success. Being a varsity starter her whole high school career, having many conference championships under her belt, two state championships and a Drake Relays champion. She has earned many honors throughout her high school career including   athlete of the year, MAC honors and All-state honors.

After three years of being nominated, Spelhaug added the newest accolade by earning the QC-Times Salute to Sports female Athlete of the Year. She became only the fourth athlete at Pleasant Valley to achieve this. Twelve of the top female athletes from around the Quad Cities and surrounding areas are nominated during the prior weeks and came together on May 7th at Bettendorf High School to be recognized for their honors.

Spelhaug claims her success stems from competing in multiple sports, not just focusing all her efforts on one area. “Being a multi-sport athlete has allowed me to better myself in all of my sports as well as in other areas,” Spelhaug commented. “All of my coaches and teammates have contributed to my success by continuing to push me to be a better athlete and person. Along with becoming a better athlete, playing multiple sports has taught me how to manage my time and making sure school always came first.”

Spelhaug is a five year varsity starter for softball, four year varsity starter in basketball, two year varsity starter in volleyball and has been running for the varsity track team since her freshman year. Not only has she been participating in all these athletics, but she has thrived in each of them.

She was the starting pitcher for the first softball team at Pleasant Valley to win a state championship, she took part in the Drake Relays and state shuttle hurdle and 4×400 relays championships her sophomore year and broke three records in her basketball career, one of them being the all-time leading scorer at Pleasant Valley.

“None of these accomplishments completely belong to me,” Spelhaug stated. “They belong to my family, teammates, and coaches that helped me along the way. Without their help I would be nowhere near the athlete I am today.”

Along with all of her individual and team awards, Ellie and younger sister Carli made history this year. The sister duo is the first pair of siblings to be nominated for athlete of the year.

“Our entire lives we had the goal of making history together as sisters, so to achieve that goal in both winning PV’s first softball championship and being the first sisters nominated is definitely something special,” Carli said. “It has been such a blessing getting to play with my best friend and role model and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.”

Ellie is not done yet though, next year she will be headed to Bradley University to play Division I basketball. Clearly, she could have played any sport but she had her heart set on basketball. Even though people told her she wouldn’t make it and that it would be a tough road ahead, she wanted to prove them wrong, and proved them wrong she has.

Congratulations to Ellie on an amazing honor and we look forward to following her for the next four years and beyond.

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Ellie Spelhaug: QC-Times athlete of the year