SPRINGVILLE—Springville-Griffith Institute senior Elle Russell will be heading north next year to Lewiston to attend Niagara University where she will join the women’s teams in cross country and track and field after signing a letter of intent with the Purple Eagles.
Russell plans to pursue a nursing degree while competing at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division-I level in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Association (MAAC). Niagara offers program options in nursing that range from registered nurse to a bachelor of science degree.
“[Niagara] did a nice job in putting together a nice package for her to make it worth her while,” Elle’s father and often Springville coach Chad Russell said. “It worked out pretty well for her because she’s doing cross country and track that allowed them to give her more [scholarship] money for each sport to help bring the total cost down that helped make it doable.”
The elder Russell also added the financial incentives Niagara offered due to Elle Russell’s academic and athletic accomplishments made it an easy decision when compared to the cost of public college alternatives.
Russell will help replace three seniors from the Purple Eagles’ cross country team of nine this past season, and become one of five distance runners for the private college that loses just two runners from its track and field team.
Christine Kloiber coaches both sports for Niagara and also serves as the athletic department’s strength and conditioning coach.
At Springville, Russell excelled as a three-sport athlete in cross country in the fall, indoor track in the winter and outdoor track in the spring. Russell’s distance running specialty allowed her to compete in three sports for the Griffins that she will be successfully parlaying into her post-high school career.