It's always nice to see a Hawkeye succeed!

If you caught the new episode of 'The Voice' on Monday night, then you may remember contestant Eli Ward. 21-year-old Eli is a native of Waterloo, Illinois, but he has a strong tie to the state of Iowa. According to the Des Moines Register, Eli ran track and cross country at the University of Iowa!

In addition to being a talented runner, Eli is also a talented musician. He sings, plays guitar, and writes his own music. In fact, he already has three original songs available on Spotify! Here's his official bio from NBC's website:

"Eli's passion for music started when his mother enrolled him in piano lessons at the age of 5. He later taught himself how to play drums and guitar and writing music soon followed. In high school, Eli had to learn to balance his many skills. He would do jazz band before school, run track after school, then do drumline - all while maintaining good enough grades for the National Honor Society. Eli is a Division I athlete at the University of Iowa for the cross-country track team. When Eli runs, he breathes to the rhythm of a song he's listening to, sometimes lasting up to 16 miles. Now a senior in college, Eli has made the tough decision to not continue on the team so he can focus on music. He's in a band, and they book gigs occasionally doing country covers. However, Eli hopes to focus on singing his own material, which is more singer-songwriter/pop."

Ahead of his performance on Monday night, Eli revealed that choosing to pursue music was a difficult decision. He said, “leaving running for music my final year at college is definitely not the easiest decision, but I think it’s absolutely the right choice.”

For his audition in front of the judges, Eli sang the song “Bruises” by Lewis Capaldi. The first judge to turn around was Gwen Stefani, and then Reba McEntire hit her button shortly after. To be honest, it was kind of difficult to hear Eli at times. I think it was the combination of his soft voice with the cheers of the audience. Regardless, he did well enough to get two chair turns!

After some deliberation, Eli ended up choosing Gwen Stefani as his coach. He shared the news on Instagram later in the evening, writing:

"Overwhelmed with support from you all words cannot describe. All love :)"

If you can't wait to hear more of Eli's voice on the show this season, he has plenty of performances on his social media accounts! You can follow him on Instagram HERE. We look forward to seeing more from him!

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