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Meet Ellie, this year’s Turtle Derby artist

Wayzata high school sophomore says she was surprised to win the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital Turtle Derby artist competition.
Ellie Magnuson is the winner of this year's Turtle Derby artist competition.

Ellie Magnuson wasn’t expecting to win the Turtle Derby artist competition.

When the Wayzata High School sophomore entered during a short visit to University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital for a biopsy, she didn’t think much about it.

“When they asked me if I was interested in drawing a turtle, I was just hanging out with lots of time to kill,” Ellie said. “I thought it would be fun to do. It didn’t take long; maybe 10 or 15 minutes.

Ellie said she was surprised when she received the call that she’d won the competition.

“I didn’t even think about winning,” she said. “In fact, I totally forgot about it until I got the call to say that I’d won!”

Ellie's interests lie more in tennis, swimming, reading and hanging out with friends. But she has had some experience with art, taking interior design and graphic design classes in school.

Her drawing makes this year's event even more special for Ellie’s mother, Shelly Magnuson, who works as a child family life specialist at our children’s hospital.

"I've always been a big fan of the Turtle Derby, and it'll be fun to see Ellie's drawing be this year's logo," she said.

Ellie, who lives in Plymouth with her parents, two brothers and their dog, Reggie, plans to attend the Turtle Derby on Thursday, June 26.