For senior track and field athletes Ellie Wilson and Emilee Shostrom, they knew their time at USD would run out after four years. However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, they were unable to finish their Coyote athletic careers as planned.
Hailing from Lincoln, Nebraska Shostrom came into USD planning on graduating with an MBA after four years, meaning she wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the fifth year now offered to spring athletes by the NCAA.
“Ever since I came to USD I planned to do my undergrad in three years, and my grad in one year,” Shostrom said. “That’s what I did, I’m finishing out everything according to plan that way, sadly it didn’t work out.”
The decision was based on what Shostrom felt would be best for her future in the workforce.
“I had to think about what was best for me and my career and beginning my career in operational analytics if I can get a job right now,” Shostrom said. “It is pretty difficult to find jobs right now, due to COVID-19 which is pretty stressful.”
However during her tenure competing as a Coyote, Shostrom was able to climb the Coyote top-10 in several events.
In the weight throw her personal best, 56-4 from the 2019 indoor season ranks seventh in South Dakota program history. In the hammer throw, Shostrom sits at seventh on the Coyote top-10 as well with a length of 172-8. In discus the throw of 150-7 places Shostrom ninth in USD program history.
“I was coming off a good indoor season, I was really excited to throw my top event hammer, outdoor since we can’t throw hammer indoor and discus as well. It was looking like it was going to be a good season and I was looking forward to that,” Shostrom said, “I’m pretty sad I don’t get to do track for USD again.”
However, Shostrom said she is able to look back on her favorite memories with her team.
“I was able to throw in the elite section during senior day and was able to hit a big personal best of 63, which was pretty exciting to have all of my family and friends there for that,” Shostrom said.
Shostrom said cheering her heart out for her teammate who had a chance of making the podium even though she didn’t final, shows how close the throws family is.
Shostrom said she. plans on using the valuable lessons she learned at USD, like hard work in her future career.
For classmate Wilson, she said she was forced to accept the fact her track career had come to an early close because she was admitted to Occupational Therapy school in the fall at the University of Kansas.
“I want to do pediatric occupational therapy and KU has a really good program and that’s been a goal of mine for a long time,” Wilson said.
While the Shawnee, Kansas native found the abrupt end to her career upsetting she knew it was the best for the health of others.
“It was upsetting but I understand completely, it was just hard for me personally because I’m moving on to a different stage of life after this and having to accept my time with my friends and coaches is over is difficult,” Wilson said. “All the things I thought that I still had, like running a certain time, and now just having to accept that stage of life is over sooner than I thought it was going to be is hard,”
While Wilson’s time athletically as a Coyote has concluded, her favorite memory comes from setting the school record in the 4×800 relay clocking in at 8:56.16 at the Drake Relays Invite.
Other top performances by Wilson include earning all Summit League honors as a member of the Coyotes third-place distance medley relay, clocking a personal best 2:14.95 to finish ninth in the open 800 meters and rallying 14 top-10 finishes during the 2018-19 season.
Wilson said her Coach Lucky Huber helped her throughout her career.
“They understood all this was really hard for us seniors, but I had this running joke with (Huber) because of this really cool old Coyote sweatshirt he had,” Wilson said. “I would constantly bug him about it at practice every day. But when I went to say goodbye to him after I moved out he gave me the sweatshirt I’d bugged him about. Knowing I can always count on him to keep in touch is great.”