Ellie Waters used cross country to get in shape for the basketball team as a freshman.
It has turned out to be her ticket to a free education.
Also a top student who boasts a 3.8 grade point average, the Ripon High senior signed with Marysville University. The combination of athletic and academic scholarships will cover 100 percent of tuition costs. Waters aims to become a speech pathologist, and the St. Louis-based school will begin offering a Speech-Language Pathology program next fall.
Waters went on four official visits to other four-year universities and was being recruited by Utah Valley University, Nevada-Reno, UC San Diego, Hawaii, Cal State San Marcos and Hawaii Pacific.
The Marysville University cross country and track teams compete in the NCAA Division II All-Great Lakes Valley Conference.
“They flew me to St. Louis for an official visit and I really liked the coach,” Waters said. “I ran with the girls and felt like I was a good fit on the team. The campus is totally beautiful.”
Waters is a four-time qualifier for the CIF State Cross Country Championships. She placed third in the Trans-Valley League finals and was 11th in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV race last Saturday. She’s also a three-time qualifier for the SJS Masters meet for track. She credits much of her success to Ripon coaches Paul Calkins and Jill McPherson.
“They have been fantastic coaches and great role models,” Waters said.
Waters has two older siblings currently in college who are former athletes for Ripon. Ruth Waters plays basketball for Stevens Tech in New Jersey and is studying to become an engineer, while Abby is at UCLA looking to be a doctor.