All-American High Jumper Wally Ellenson to MU
July 2, 2014
MILWAUKEE – NCAA All-American high jumper Wally Ellenson has transferred to Marquette University from Minnesota and will compete in both men’s basketball and track and field, it was announced Wednesday afternoon.
“We are obviously excited to add Wally to the Marquette track and field program,” Marquette head track and field coach Bert Rogers said. “It is not often that you get to add an All-American transfer and I am excited for both of our programs. There is a lot of excitement about adding another talented athlete from the state of Wisconsin. He will fit in well with our group and will have a lot of continued success in the high jump.”
Ellenson, a 6-foot-6, 210-pounder, will arrive on campus this fall and have two seasons of eligibility remaining in basketball after redshirting in 2014-15 due to NCAA transfer rules.
The Rice Lake, Wisconsin native spent two seasons (2012-14) with the Golden Gophers men’s basketball program and appeared in 18 career games off the bench. He made his collegiate debut against North Dakota State on Dec. 11, 2012 and tallied his first point in that game as well.
Ellenson is a two-time All-America honoree in the high jump and finished as the runner-up in the event in 2014 at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. His personal-best mark of 2.25 meters (7 feet, 4.50 inches) at the national meet was the second-best outdoor mark in Minnesota history and is four inches higher than Marquette’s current program best.
The high jumper also won a gold medal at the 2013 Pan American Junior Athletics Championships last August for the United States in Colombia, where Marquette rising sophomore John Krzyszkowski captured bronze in the javelin for Team Canada.
At Rice Lake High School, Ellenson was tabbed both all-conference and all-state on three occasions in basketball and was also one of the nation's top high jumpers in the prep ranks. He was a two-time state champion in the high jump and his state-record height of 7 feet, 1 inch in 2012 was the best in the nation by a high school athlete.
The Golden Eagles’ returning men's high jump group includes reigning-BIG EAST Conference indoor champion Oumaru Abdulahi, while men’s outdoor conference champion Michael Saindon departs the program after exhausting his NCAA eligibility. Marquette earned a total of 15 individual conference titles last season and notched their highest-ever team finishes since joining the league.
Marquette has not had an NCAA All-American in the high jump since Ken Weisner in 1946. Weisner, a 1952 silver medalist in the Helsinki Olympics, earned three-consecutive NCAA championships in the event from 1944-46. Marquette hosted the NCAA meet in both 1944 and 1945, while the 1946 championships were held at Minnesota.
Ellenson joins Winneconne, Wisconsin native William Koeck (second team, indoor weight throw) as the only returning All-Americans on the MU roster.