KENNEWICK, WA - Kamiakin's Ellie Heiden has been running her own race through out high school. One of the very best in the state, her academics and athletics have led her to the finish line she's been dreaming of since she was a kid: Provo, Utah, where she'll attend BYU next year.
"I've been dreaming about going to BYU since I was like 6 or 7 years old," says Heiden. "It's always been my dream. They focus a lot on academics, which is awesome, and that's what you want in a college because when you leave college, the thing you'll take away is the degree you get.
Aside from the fact that she's wanted to go there since she was young, BYU's demand for academic excellence from their athletes appealed to her.
"Some colleges won't look on grades as much, more focus on the athlete. But BYU is definitely about... if you're going to come to this school, you're gonna have to have the grades to come to this school. That's why the expectation was there to get good grades," says Heiden.
And her drive to win in school and on the track come from a familiar place.
"She hates losing, that says it all because she hates that," said Cheryl Schauble, her coach. "If she loses a race, which doesn't happen often, she fixes it. Does the training in the classroom as well to avoid that happening again."