Ashlyn Blotzer of Corona Santiago HS was a CIF-State Meet finalist. (Photo courtesy of Ashlyn Blotzer)
Name: ASHLYN BLOTZER
School: Santiago High School
Event: High Jump
Q: What was your most memorable race/moment?
- The meet most memorable to me was state finals this past season. Just being there was a surreal feeling and being able to compete against the best California has to offer was something amazing. The atmosphere was unforgettable and truly an incredible feeling.
Q: Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
- My biggest competition throughout high school hands down was Abigail Burke from Riverside Poly (pictured with Ashlyn at Arcadia). Having two state titles under her belt, she's obviously a great jumper. Every meet I competed against her I knew I was going to be pushed and both of us were going to clear great heights. Finally taking a few wins over her my senior season was definitely a highlight. I don't think these past four years would've been the same if I wasn't competing against her.
Q: What was your greatest accomplishment?
- Clearing 5'8" at The California Relays this year is one of, if not, my greatest accomplishment. After going through two seasons stuck at 5'6", clearing 5'8" was just an incredible feeling. Watching the video of that jump gives me the best feeling and just remembering that meet and jump always brings a smile to my face.
Q: If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
- I would have more fun with every meet and practice. It gets crazy and you feel like it's impossible to have fun while getting the work in that you need, but I found that when I just let loose and enjoy the process, the result is so much better. I wish I would've realized this sooner and really took everything in all four years.
Q: What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
- I never had any physical obstacles in regards to injuries, thankfully, but getting past the mental block was the most difficult thing for me. Jumping over a bar backwards is very mental to start out with and not being able to perform the way you want creates more frustration. It took up until my senior season to just let it all go and jump how I know how to jump and since realizing that, had made all the difference to me.
Q: What will you miss the most?
- I'm going to miss that feeling after I've done all my pre-meet rituals and that mixed feeling of nervousness and excitement on the way to the meet. A big feeling I'll miss too is walking up to the apron and getting ready to take that first jump, that feeling releases such a mix of emotions that I can't even begin to explain and is something that I'll miss so much.
Q: What advice would you give to younger athletes?
- Trust the process. You're going to go through periods of time that feels like you're going backward instead of forward and it's all in the process. Don't cheat the process though because it's so easy to fall off. You might go through as little as a week or as long as a season of being in a slump and it's OK. It may feel like the end of the world, but it's all in preparation for the bigger picture. Don't put so much pressure on yourself straight from the beginning, it gets worse before it gets better.
Q: What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
- Both my outside coach, Jill Schmidt, and my high school coach, Kent Lindsay, have had tremendous influence on me. I went through a period where I just wasn't in love with the sport anymore and I wanted to quit, but they both just reassured me that the worst thing I could do was give up. I'm so grateful that they pushed me to continue jumping. They've both seen me at my worst and at my best and just the fact that they continuously supported be throughout both is the best thing I could've asked for.
Q: What are your college plans?
- I'll be attending UC Riverside on a full volleyball scholarship. It hasn't been decided if I will be continuing high jump in college, but it is something I'm for sure keeping in mind.
Q: Who would you like to say thank you to?
- Thank you to my parents for continuously pushing me to be my best and for being there for me throughout my best meets and my worst. Also thank you to all those I created bonds with through this sport, just knowing you have support from others makes everything so much easier and more fun.
Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
- Being a two-sport athlete throughout high school was truly a blessing and I strongly encourage anyone to take part in track if they have the chance. Also, I love chicken nuggets.
"Trust the process," Ashlyn Blotzer writes above as advice she would give to younger athletes. Blotzer was a two-sport standout at Santiago HS who reached the CIF-State Meet finals in the high jump in track and earned a full-ride scholarship to UC Riverside in volleyball. (Photo courtesy of Ashlyn Blotzer)