Salute to Seniors: Ella Hornstein of East Brunswick HS

Salute To Seniors is a medium for "senior farewells". We invited the 2020 seniors to tell their stories from the past four years. With the loss of the spring season we hope we can offer a chance to reflect on all the great moments this class did get to experience.

We have a few more to post and look to wrap the series up with July, if you would still like to submit you are welcome to do so before July 21st. 

For instructions on how to submit a piece please see this announcement article

Ella Hornstein

East Brunswick HS

What will you miss the most? 

There are so many highlights of running XC and track in high school, but if I had to narrow it down I will miss my team. I have had the most amazing four years with my coaches and teammates. The cliche that your team is your second family is one of the truest things to me. East Brunswick does a lot of team bonding activities, and as captain for the last year I found these activities extremely beneficial to the team, not only does it make everyone closer with one another but creates stronger runners with confidence and motivation.

Our girls distance team isn't only friends at practice, but outside as well. We always support each other and go the extra mile to help if in need. Every single week during preseason we did new activities such as tie dying shirts, or obstacle courses. Even though these aren't the mainstream bonding activities, they proved to create many new friendships and caused us to be close knit.

What advice would you give to younger athletes?

I would tell younger athletes to always work their hardest even when nobody's looking and that preseason training is extremely important. It is one thing to be the quickest person at practice, but it is another to have the discipline even when you aren't at the top, to run on your own, do abs, and maintain a healthy diet.

Sometimes runners lose confidence in themselves, I mean running isn't always the easiest sport, you can go for months giving it your all and still not PR, and this is why it's important to never give up on yourself. Work your hardest always because in the long run it will pay off.

What are your post-high school or college plans?

I am attending Montclair State University in the fall and running cross country and track for them as well. I am majoring in justice studies with a concentration in international justice. I hope to be a lawyer one day. I am so excited to call the Montclair State distance girls, my new team. They have all been so welcoming and kind and I cannot wait to create new memories and run with them.  

Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?

There are so many people that have helped me get to where I am not only as a runner, but as a person.

Firstly I would like to thank my coaches, Jeffrey Sundberg, Laura Calderone, Pat Digioacchino, and Rick Murray for always believing in me and helping me achieve my goals.

I thank Gabby Donou, Lauren Goodger, Maggie Mcglyn, and Isabel Feigelmuller for being the best co captains for track, without them our team would not be as amazing as it was this year. I love them all so much and am sad to have not spent the last season leading with them.

Last but certainly not least I would thank my family, my mom, my brother, my grandmother and dad have helped me so much as a runner by driving me to all the practices, coming to races,and supporting me through every mile.  

If you are writing a letter to your younger self what are some items you might include?

Hi Ella, 

You finished high school, and along the way you had some unforgettable memories. Who would've thought that the girl who chose to randomly run a mile in 7th grade would end up running cross country and track and actually be continuing it in college. You found something that you truly love, and something that is always there for you. When you get upset you can go on a run, and that can help you think of solutions to whatever problem you may be having. But on that note, be careful of the pace you run at when you're mad, you tend to go a little too quick. You are so lucky to have such an amazing support system, through your family, team, and girl scout troop you have endless people cheering you on and wanting the best for you. You'll do amazing and always remember to stay true to yourself.

What was your personal greatest accomplishment?

I am so proud of being captain for XC and track. I really learned a lot of valuable leadership skills that will follow me through the years. I learned how to organize as I led preseason "captain's practices" during the entire summer, I also organized all of our team bonding activities and figured out the logistics. I would have never thought I was capable of this and by having the opportunity to be captain I gained so much self confidence in myself.  

What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?  

To Coach Sunny, and Deeg,

You two have done so much for me. I not only consider you coaches, but I also consider you friends. I can always go to you no matter what the situation is and you will support me unconditionally. I would be nowhere near the distance runner without your program and endless workout charts. Thank you.