Athlete Spotlight: Ella Gibbs from Bleckley County MS

Ella Gibbs seen setting a new MS State record time of 10:42.99

(photos by Dan McCauley)

Ella Gibbs' Profile

How does it feel to be a double gold winner at MS State?

It feels unbelievable!! I was not expecting to win 2 gold medals.

When did you begin running?

I started running 1-mile races when I was around 5, but I really got into running when I started 6th grade.

Do you play any other sports, or played in the past?

I run cross country, track, and play soccer.

Is it true your parents were both runners and Coach Cranford was their HS coach?

Yes, both my parents were runners, but only my mom ran for Coach Cranford when she was in high school. She was on Bleckley County's 1st girls' team that ever won a trophy at the state cross country meet(1995). My dad ran track at Robert Toombs Christian Academy and was a 48.0 400 meter runner in high school.

Tell us about your record-setting 3200-meter race.

I was super nervous before starting the race. I just wanted to run my best race. Once I started running I felt good. I didn't know any of my times throughout the race, but I just pushed it to my limit. In the last 100 meters, I could hear the crowd, and I sprinted to the end !!!

Are you looking forward to competing in high school next Fall?

I am actually in 7th grade, but I am looking forward to running in 8th grade and in high school for Coach Cranford.

Coach Cranford comments - "I am so glad we have her and many of her teammates back again this fall in cross country. Hopefully, this track season will set us up for another run at a state cross country team title this fall. We were 2nd this past season, and we look forward to competing again this fall with the best MS teams in the state."

What's your favorite food, tv show/movie, and subject in school?

My favorite food is Wild West shrimp from Longhorns. I like watching Netflix and old movies like Red Dawn. My favorite subject is History.

What does running mean to you?

Running means so much to me and requires a lot of determination, commitment, and grit. When it gets hard, you have to push through and never give up. I find strength in the Lord my Savior !! I am so lucky and blessed to have the opportunity to run track and cross country. I want to thank Coach Cranford for helping me be the best I can be. I also want to thank my family and friends for all their support. It is great to be a part of such a great team of runners !!!

Coach Cranford added, "I want to thank God as well for the abilities and talents he has given Ella and our other runners and for giving me the opportunity to play a small part in their lives. Ella and her teammates are a great group of kids, and I wouldn't trade them for any other group in the world. After 32 years of coaching, it is MS kids like these, and the HS kids that I get to coach, that keep me in this profession and on the mission field where God has planted me. I enjoy spending time with these kids, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for each one of them."