Snagging NCAA titles apparently runs in the Henes family. 30 years after her mother, Laurie Henes, captured first place in the 5,000m at the NCAA Championships for NC State, her daughter, Elly Henes, repeated her mom’s success. On the same (but recently rebuilt) Hayward Field, the younger Henes crossed the finish line in 15:28.05 to take first place, edging out second place by 0.63 seconds.
"It's the perfect fairy tale ending."
— NCAA Track & Field (@NCAATrackField) June 13, 2021
Henes is the first woman from NC State to win the NCAA crown in the 5,000m since her mother’s success, and being able to share the title of NCAA champ with her mother is incredibly special to the young athlete. To make it even more meaningful, Henes’ mother is also now her coach, and so has guided her daughter to this moment.
“It’s incredible. It means the world to me,” Henes said in a post-race interview with ESPN. “Having her as my coach and having her throughout my running career, it’s like the perfect fairytale ending. You couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Henes is ending her collegiate career as a 10-time All-American and five-time Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Champion. She was also the 2019 Women’s Cross Country Performer of the Year and two-time ACC Women’s Indoor Track Performer of the Year. Her experience showed throughout the entire race, and she managed to kick past her competitors in the final 200m to grab the win and have a fairytale ending to her varsity career.