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Ellsworth track: Stoetzel headed to Upper Iowa

ELLSWORTH -- Allyson Stoetzel’s route to signing a National Letter of Intent on Thursday, May 4 to run track at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa was anything but ordinary.

It started with success and then the love of the sport followed. Her sophomore year she started thinking about competing collegiately.

Her favorite parts about track and field are all tied to emotions.

In the long jump, she loves the euphoric freedom she feels as she flies through the air.

“No matter how long you are actually in the air, it will always seem like a lifetime because everything slows down,” Stoetzel said. “Nothing beats the feeling of beating a personal record (in the long jump).”

In the 4x100-meter relay, she loves the adrenaline rush of watching her teammates carry the baton around the track leading up to it being passed to her.

“I love the adrenaline of watching my teammates run before it gets handed off to me,” Stoetzel said. “I love the teamwork that I see between myself and three other girls trying to get the fastest time.”

At the end of her junior year, she knew something was wrong, but the doctors diagnosed her as having a sprain in her knee. Rest, ice, and other measures didn’t do enough to get her back to full health.

She had a torn ACL.

“I always had an ACL tear in the back of my mind and I was 80 percent sure that’s what it was, but it didn’t seem real,” Stoetzel said, but her reaction was still shock when she heard the news. “I knew something more was wrong than just a sprain.”

Track forced another emotion on Stoetzel: “sadness.”

She said the hardest part was telling her doubles tennis partner right before the season started that she wouldn’t be able to play that season.

Marcie Jahnke, the Ellsworth girls track coach, has since expressed shock over what happened with Stoetzel’s knee. Jahnke has seen several knee injuries in her lifetime, but there’s no being numb to the sadness.

“When Stoetzel came to me after she first found out that she had officially torn her ACL, she was justifiably upset,” Jahnke said. “We cried together, and then she got down to business about what this meant for her senior year.

“An injury like that for a senior is particularly upsetting.”

The senior bounced back and performed well at the MBC meet in New Richmond on Tuesday, May 16 taking second place in the long jump and taking part in the first-place 4x100-meter relay team.

“Allyson vowed right then and there that she’d be back for track,” Jahnke said. “I was naturally concerned that she would push too hard, too fast to get back. She has always been physically strong and I believe that this contributed to her ability to rehab as quickly as she has.”

To push herself, she read.

“I attacked my rehab reading success stories of other athletes with ACL tears and told myself that it could always be worse,” Stoetzel said. “One of my personal favorite stories is when the WNBA player Rachel Banham came to our basketball game and talked to me before the game. She told her comeback story and about her ACL injury.”

Banham tore her ACL right before her senior year with the Minnesota Gophers. Banham still went on to be a first-round draft pick in the WNBA following her senior year.

Through her ACL experience Stoetzel has learned a lot about all that she is capable of in life.

“The dedication to rehab is so much different than any other dedication because in order to come back, you have to dedicate 150 percent of yourself, time, and effort into it,” Stoetzel said. “The way I see it as you get out what you put in. If you are lazy with your physical therapy, it will take you eight months to a year to get back to sports. If you dedicate yourself, you can get back sooner.”

She did just that and now she’ll get to continue to recover and improve collegiately. 

See below for complete results of the MBC meet in New Richmond on Tuesday, May 16. 

Middle Border Conference meet

GirlsTeam scores: St. Croix Central 147; Osceola 117.5; New Richmond 102; Baldwin-Woodville 84; Amery 74; Ellsworth 72; Somerset 54.5; Prescott 48.100-meter: 1, Holter, SCC, :13.03; 6, Burmood, Pres, :13.89. 200: 1, Holter, SCC, :26.99; 2, Reuvers, Ells, :27.13; 7, Burmood, Pres, :28.51. 400: 1, Brinkman, NR, 1:00.09; 7, LaBakken, Pres, 1:06.29; 800: 1, VanWatermeulen, Ells, 2:27.4; 2, Ritter, Pres, 2:29.23. 1600: 1, Moll, SCC. 3200: 1, Moll, SCC, 12:43.7. 100 hurdles: 1, Ulrich, Osc, :17.27. 300 hurdles: 1, Dietrich, A, :50.16; 6, Meyer, Ells, :56.56. 400 relay: 1, Ellsworth, :52.73; 8, Prescott, :57.28. 800 relay: 1, New Richmond, 1:51.3; 6, Prescott, 2:03.23; 7, Ellsworth, 2:05.09. 1600 relay: 1, Ellsworth, 4:22.4; 4, Prescott, 4:27.97. 3200 relay: 1, Amery, 10:33.72; 2, Prescott, 10:35.17; 4, Ellsworth, 10:47.89. High jump: 1, Pederson, BW, 4-11; 3, Anderson, Ell, 4-10; 8 (tie), Wallis, Osc and Iberg, Pres, 4-6. Long jump: 1, Kletschka, NR, 16-10; 2, Stoetzel, 16-6; 5, Burmood, Pres, 15-7½; 7, Reuvers, Ells, 15-5. Triple jump: 1, Helgeson, Osc, 33-0; 2, Lewis, Pres, 32-11¾; 6, LeBakken, Pres, 31-2¾. Discus: 1, Haas, BW, 149-3; 7, Olson, Ells, 90-5; 8, Cole, Ells, 89-6. Shot put: 1, Meath, Som, 40-6; 4, Olson, Ells, 32-0¾. Boys100: 1, Northrup, BW, :11.32. 200: 1, Goulet, A, :22.95; 8, Morrison, Pres, :25.31. 400: 1, Goulet, A, :50.43; 3, Hoyer, Ells, 52.9; 4, Roed, Ells, :53.26; 6, Barksdale, Pres, :54.49. 800: 1, Wachter, NR, 1:59.45; 3, Hauenstein, Pres, 2:08.13; 5, Lansing, Ells, 2:13.08. 1600: 1, Wachter, NR, 4:49.13; 5, Peña, Pres, 4:55.28. 3200: 1, Eiynck, A, 10:33.97; 2, Anderson, Ells, 10:47.41.400 relay: 1, St. Croix Central, :44.86; 6, Prescott, :47.61; 7, Ellsworth, :48.93. 800 relay: 1, St. Croix Central, 1:34.34; 7, Prescott, 1:43.2; 8, Ellsworth, 1:45.08. 1600 relay: 1, Osceola, 3:33.28; 3, Ellsworth, 3:400.23; 4, Prescott, 3:41.81. 3200 relay: 1, Amery, 8:34.93; 2, Prescott, 8:36.87; 3, Ellsworth, 8:52.9.

High jump: 1, Ellingsworth, Osc, 6-0; 3, Hoyer, Ells, 5-8; 7, Roed, Ells, 5-6. Long jump: 1, Powers, NR, 20-6; 2, Roed, Ells, 20-1½. Triple jump: 1, Nelson, SCC, 44-0; 4, Zeimet, Pres, 40-0. Discus: 1, Hueg, SCC, 137-10; 3, Shonkwiler, Ells, 127-5; 6, Bartsch, Pres, 112-7. Shot put: 1, Karpenske, NR, 47-2¼; 5, Bartsch, Pres, 40-2; 7, Shonkwiler, Ells, 39-0¾; 8, Sanford, Pres, 38-4½. At New Richmond.

Jalen Knuteson

Jalen Knuteson started as a reporter in the sports department for the Pierce County Herald in October of 2016. He has spent time working for the Portage Daily Register as a freelance reporter and as a sports assistant for the Wisconsin State Journal.

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