Meeuwsen commits to Iowa for track and field
By Rich Palzewic
SUAMICO – Ella Meeuwsen, a Bay Port senior, recently verbally committed to the University of Iowa, a Division I college participating in the Big Ten Conference in Iowa City, to join the track and field team.
Meeuwsen’s career-best high jump of 5-foot-6 is Bay Port’s school record.
“I’m excited about it,” said Meeuwsen, who will study nursing in the hopes of becoming a nurse practitioner in sports medicine. “I was nervous about the decision, but it’s a big weight off my shoulders. I figured it out – Iowa was my dream school from the start.”
Meeuwsen said Iowa stood out from others.
“I wanted to attend a bigger school, but I’m also not a huge fan of bigger cities,” she said. “Iowa City was the perfect size for me. I didn’t want to say in Wisconsin, so it’s also a nice distance from Green Bay. I love the campus.”
She also had Division I offers from Central Michigan University (Mt. Pleasant) and Austin Peay State University (Clarksville, Tennessee).
Meeuwsen said she knows the competition in the Big Ten will be a big step up from high school.
“It’s nerve-wracking,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity, though. I’m hoping to progress even more in college.”
Meeuwsen’s brother, Max, was a two-time WIAA Division 1 heavyweight state wrestling champ in high school and is now playing Division I football at the Naval Academy.
“Max has been a huge influence on me,” said Meeuwsen. “He helped me build lots of self-discipline and build my goals. He’s helped me get to where I am today. I couldn’t have done it without him.”
As a freshman in 2018, Meeuwsen finished ninth at the WIAA Division 1 State Track and Field meet with a jump of 5-foot-4.
The next season, she finished third with a 5-foot-6 jump.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, last spring’s WIAA sports were canceled.
“It was difficult and sad because we lost an entire season,” Meeuwsen said. “I used the time to get better and work on my strength, flexibility and agility. Max helped me with lots of that.”
Meeuwsen has set herself some lofty team and personal goals for this season.
“As a team, I’d like us to win the (Fox River Classic) conference,” she said. “We’ve come close in the past, so I think we can do it. Individually, I’d like to win a state championship and jump 5-foot-7. I’m shooting high.”