Georgia Ellenwood of Langley, B.C., who closed out her collegiate career by winning the NCAA championship in the heptathlon in June 2018, has signed her first professional athletic contract–with Baltimore-based Under Armour, Inc. Ellenwood graduated from the University of Wisconsin last year.
The heptathlon is an incredibly demanding multi-event discipline that includes the 100m hurdles, 200m, and 800m, in addition to the high jump, shot put, long jump and javelin throw.
Ellenwood was already very familiar with UA’s apparel and shoes, since it supplied Wisconsin’s team uniforms, where she continues to train. Having been one of the athletes to offer feedback on products the brand was developing (such as track and field spikes), Ellenwood says her new professional relationship with the brand is like an extension of the relationship they already had. “When I saw how passionate they were about getting more of those spikes out there and getting them right, I saw I would be a really good asset to their team as well,” she said. “It’s a really good relationship.”
Since she has her sights set on Tokyo in 2020, the pentathlete decided to stay in Madison. “I had a big decision after college, whether I wanted to go back home, or go to Calgary, or find somewhere else in the US to train. If my goal is to make the Olympics, I have less than two years to do it, so if it’s working right now, why change anything? It’s working well so far.”
Ellenwood says the biggest change in her transition from collegiate athlete to pro is the resources now available to her as an Under Armour athlete. “They have so much sports science to improve their athletes… I was introduced to a whole range of stuff I’ve never experienced before [at UA’s running headquarters in Portland, Oregon]. They did testing on me and I saw my results… it’s a big step for me in terms of focusing on the smaller things, so they’re introducing me to that, which is awesome.”
In the short term, Ellenwood’s goal is to maintain or improve her standing in the world’s top 24 to qualify for the world championships in Qatar in October 2019.