EARLY – Early Lady Horn senior Ellie Ryan solidified her college plans Wednesday, signing a national letter of intent to compete for the women's track and field program at McMurry University.

“This all feels pretty crazy,” Ryan said. “In just three weeks I won't be a high school student anymore.”

An all-district standout in volleyball and basketball as well for the Lady Horns, Ryan opted for the track and field route in college where she will continue to perform in the discus and shot put, while adding the hammer throw to her repertoire.

“Someone had talked to their coach and he just texted me and let me know he'd seen my records and he wanted me to come throw for him,” Ryan said. “I went and watched them, thought about it and realized I would like to do it. I considered Hardin-Simmons and Concordia, but McMurry is really the only place I was really looking at.”

Ryan credited her mother, Missy, for getting her involved in track and field.

“My mom was really my coach to begin with,” Ryan said. “She helped me with the basics and then I excelled from there with Coach (Daniel) Price.”

Ryan advanced to the Region I-3A meet in the both the discus and shot put this spring, which she considered among her high school career highlights. Ryan placed seventh in the discus with a best effort of 117 feet, while she came in eighth in the shot put with a top distance of 34-1.

“At regionals it didn't count but if it did go in I would have hit 130 and that would have been a school record and my PR in the discus,” Ryan said. “In the shot put at regionals I beat everybody that beat me at area.”

Ryan stated she was happy that she was staying close home so her family and friends could watch her compete, and added, “I'm pretty excited that I can come home and see my dog.”

As for her athletic goals at McMurry, Ryan said, “I'd like to make it to nationals, but I just want to do the best I can.”

Ryan intends to major in Exercise Science and Human Performance, where she will study to be a physical therapist.