BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – North Carolina State 2021 graduate Elly Henes fell in love with running at an early age. You might even say running is in her blood.
“My parents, who both ran in college and professionally, kind of guided me towards running and I found that niche and have loved it ever since,” Henes said.
Henes is the daughter of former Boardman standout and three-time state champion Laurie Gomez. Gomez is now the women’s track and field head coach at NC State, where she coached Henes all four years.
“She knows how to push me,” Henes said. “She knows the best way to motivate me and to really make me love the sport, love what I’m doing and just find a good balance between running and other things in life.”
This past spring, Henes was crowned an NCAA National Champion after winning the 5000m, 30 years after her mom won a National Championship in the very same event.
“The paths to get there were so different for the both of us,” she added. “It’s crazy because you see the end result and see how happy we are and how excited that makes us, but there’s so much that goes into it and so many workouts, so many races, so many good moments, so many bad moments and we were able to share those together. I guess I wasn’t there to share it with her her time around, but her being here for mine was really special for the both of us.”
It was an emotional moment that didn’t hit the pair until they left the stadium.
“I think honestly just knowing this next chapter, we’re always going to be with each other and be there for each other and stuff, but now that we’re going to be living in different states, it’s going to be a big transition,”Henes said. ” So, I think a lot of the emotional was being so excited for what just happened and also knowing this dynamic, we’re going to try to keep this up as much as we can, even from afar.”
Back in June, Henes finished sixth in the 5000m at the Olympics Trials. She is now running professionally and is moving to Arizona to train, with her sights set on the 2024 Olympics.