HELENA – Audrey Bloomquist couldn’t hold back the tears as she thanked friends, family and coaches on Wednesday afternoon, moments before she put pen to paper on her national letter of intent with the University of Colorado Colorado Springs track and field program.
“It’s so special. Everybody here has made such a big difference in my life and having just one day to experience it all is a lot,” Bloomquist said, “but I’m excited to celebrate for the rest of the year with all of them.”
Bloomquist will join a Mountain Lion program that sent five athletes to the NCAA Division II championships last spring. Bloomquist found her own success last season, placing fourth in the 100-meter dash (12.67 seconds) at the Class AA state track meet. She also earned a fifth-place finish in the triple jump, reaching 36 feet, 0.75 inches. Bloomquist captured top-15 honors in the long jump (11th) and 200 (eighth), while also running the anchor leg on Capital’s runner-up 400-meter relay team.
“I’m really excited to see how far I can go. I haven’t really been able to focus on it a lot, especially triple jump. I’m excited to see where that can take me,” she said. “I would say (triple jump) was probably my best event last year. I’m better at triple jump than long jump, but (Helena Capital jumps coach Hollee) Goody has been working with me a lot on both, so hopefully they can get a little better this year.”
The senior will likely contend for titles in multiple events this May, but one could argue track and field isn’t her best sport. A fine gymnast, Bloomquist has earned multiple accolades competing for the Helena Athletic Club, and kept her collegiate options open for both.
“In gymnastics in college, it’s a pretty competitive sport, especially if you want to go to a bigger school. I first looked at schools with my major, then looked at schools to see whether I could do track or gymnastics. More schools had track, so I leaned toward that direction,” she said. “It’s going to be hard to give up gymnastics, for sure, but I’m really excited to focus on track.”
“They’ve been looking at me as a multi-event athlete,” Bloomquist continued, discussing her future coaches, “and I think my gymnastics background helps in track, because you learn a lot of body awareness and strength in gymnastics, so they were excited I’ve been a gymnast, too.”
Bloomquist says she looks forward to joining the UCCS sports management and marketing program, with hopes of “working for collegiate athletic teams or professional athletic teams” in the future. She says she also has family in the Colorado Springs area, contributing to her decision.
Signing her national letter of intent will allow Bloomquist to focus strictly on her events this spring, where she brings lofty goals into her final season.
“I would love to get a state championship in the 100-meter dash or the triple jump. I would also love to be part of the 400-meter relay team,” Bloomquist said. “I think we have a really good shot of winning state this year. Plus, being a part of the whole Capital High team, I think we have a lot of potential this year.”