TWIN FALLS — Balancing one sport with the academic rigors of the College of Idaho is tough.
Ellie Packham needs a bigger challenge.
In a room packed full with family and friends from three different Canyon Ridge teams, Packham signed letters of intent to run track and play women’s soccer in Caldwell next school year.
“I really like the team aspect of soccer, and all the technical parts of the game, and I really like to run track as a way to keep healthy,” said Packham. “I got to meet the (track) coach and he’s really great, and I’m excited to run for him.”
Packham is an intermediate sprinter and just took on the hurdles late last season. She also runs as part of the Riverhawk relay teams.
“She could do anything up to the 800, but she’s good in the 400 and good in the 200, and we only started her on hurdles in the last three meets last year,” said Canyon Ridge track coach Ben Benoit. “She’s got a chance to develop there. She could do pretty much whatever (events) she wants to do.”
Packham also plays basketball at Canyon Ridge and dabbled in cross country. Where she likely made her biggest mark on the program was on the soccer pitch, as she led the Riverhawks in goals and also was the team’s chief midfield playmaker.
“It’s a great day because she was in the program from the beginning and it’s nice to see her get rewarded for her hard work,” said Canyon Ridge girls soccer coach Christa Tackett. “We’ll have to figure out how to replace her, but it’s good for the girls to see that things like this can happen for them too.”
Packham said she anticipates taking a similar role in the Yote formation, either in midfield or in attack. Above all, she just wants to play.
“If I get playing time and it’s in defense, that’s OK too,” she said.