Elliana Rexinger-McConnell - 2023 Athlete of the Year

Elliana Rexinger-McConnell

Elliana Rexinger-McConnell is a well-balanced thirteen year old who is the model of perseverance and sportsmanship. While maintaining her grades she is very involved in after school programs, in addition to playing soccer and track & field.  Elliana is part of student council for the middle school, the K.I.M. program which is a program based on volunteer work in the community.   She’s been involved in ta volunteer program called “chase the chill” where volunteer students hang up coats, gloves, hats, scarves, etc. throughout the town for the homeless to take as needed.  She has also done four plus years of girls scouts,  four plus years as a dancer, is a member of the chorus, and is very conscientious about maintaining her grades while participating in so many activities.  

     Elliana has been participating in track and field since 2021.   She started off as a runner and wasn’t the biggest fan.  She quickly transitioned to a thrower and has been  throwing ever since.  She has made huge progress over her first 2 years. Elliana has competed in many events throughout the state. In her first year at the Nutmeg State Games, Elliana took the Bronze medal in both shotput and discus. Returning in 2022, Not only did she take the Gold in in Shotput and Discuss, but she broke the standing record in 11-12 discuss by over 2 meters. In 2023 Elliana returned to take the Gold again in both Shotput and Discus in 2023.

On top of her accomplishments at the Nutmeg’s, she finished second in the Northeast in discus and fourth in shotput at the end of just her 2nd year of throwing. Her performance earned her a spot at the Junior Olympics where she competed with the best of the best in the Nation. Since that time, she has been working really hard this winter on strength and speed  - even having a throwing circle set up in the garage to still be able to practice her form when outdoor throwing isn’t possible.

Elliana loves being part of a team.  As much as track and field might be an individual sport, at times to Elliana it is still about the team.  She knows when she gets to high school her goal is to get as many points for the team as possible  Another goal of hers is to get more involved in throwing the javelin so it could be her third event in high school and help get more points for the team.  Elliana also enjoys soccer - Her older brother played soccer for most of his life. He was also a runner in high school and competed in the Nutmeg Games.

Elliana’s sportsmanship has been noted by coaches, teacher and peers both on the field and in the classroom. At the Junior Olympics, her performance was not where she wanted it to be. Yes, she was discouraged but that didn’t distract her from rooting for all the other girls.  One of the top 12u shotput throwers in the country was crying because she finished 7th overall. Elliana walked over to her, gave her a gig hug and let her know that it was Okay, and that she did great. Just one example of the support she offered to to her competitors. She is people person and loves to help people.

For her dedication to personal achievement and sportsmanship, we recognize Elliana’s embodiment of the Olympic Spirit in her actions and words and we are proud to announce her as the 2023 Nutmeg State Games athlete of the year!

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