Following a temporary hiatus, we are back with the Alumni Spotlight Series! This week we are featuring Ellie Horton (also known as Captain Ellison and Mousie – she’s been told she looks like a mouse when she tricks), who recently graduated from Florida Southern College.
It really depends on how I’m skiing, but either Jump or Trick
AWSA Western Regionals or Collegiate Nationals
Describe your ski team experience:
We were a family. We trained together, we ate together, we cried together and we cheered together. When I first got to college, I was thrust into an entire new season of my life. I relocated to other side of the country from where I called home, and I was a stranger among my peers. It was a new transition for all of the freshman skiers, so we all clung to each other and the upperclassmen on the team. As a result, they instantly became my best friends. Early morning ski sets to late night studies, we did it all together! Not to mention those 15+ hour bus rides to Collegiate Regionals and Nationals…those trips made me close to my teammates whether I liked it or not!
What are you doing now?
I work for a digital media agency called Black Oak Creative in Winter Haven, Florida. I love it! I truly feel blessed to have a great job right out of college that is in my field of study (Advertising, PR and Marketing). It’s a really small environment so my coworkers are like family and even after 6 months I still look forward to going into the office daily!
What stands out when you think about your collegiate skiing career?
The camaraderie! There truly is nothing like having your whole team, shakers in hand, yelling and cheering you on at the top of their lungs as you cut to the ramp. What’s even better is the camaraderie isn’t just an individual team thing. Collegiate tournaments are like a big melting pot. I can’t even count the times we had Alabama skiers under our tent cheering for our skiers or I was standing with the ULM War Hawks screaming for my brother, because no matter how stiff the competition for that team title, it never won over the friendships.
How do I pick? It was the very last jump of my very last collegiate nationals on the last day of the tournament. My goal throughout my entire collegiate career was to jump 130 before I graduated, and after my first two jumps only being in the 120’s I had one more shot. My entire team knew what I wanted, and they were encouraging me on from the shore. One the last jump, I did it! 130 feet exactly. I skied back to my team who ran and splashed into the water to hug and congratulate me, carrying me back to shore on their backs. If that’s not going out with a bang, I don’t know what is! And I got to do it with my teammates by my side!
Any advice for current skiers?
Savor it. It’s so easy to get caught up in the scores, the medals, the wins – I know because I was guilty of that. But looking back now (as I try to navigate my way through the adult life), I wish I had just reveled in the pure awesomeness of collegiate skiing. I’m super competitive so I let PB’s and doing well get the best of me sometimes. So my advice is to enjoy the ride, seriously, because this will be one of the best times of your life!
How can we get more college kids involved in the sport?
Just let kids at school who are interested come and ski. Throughout my four years on the team, we had people show up to the dock who were recreational skiers, show skiers, etc. interested in 3-event skiing. Some of those skiers ended up competing for our A team! I think that’s awesome 🙂 We simply need to be more inclusive and more welcoming!
Thank you, Ellie, for participating this week!
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