Bloomquist has golden day
Fairfield sophomore Ashley Bloomquist earned three gold medals at the Falcon Relays in West Burlington on Tuesday.
Bloomquist took first place in the 1,500-meter run, anchored Fairfield’s distance medley first-place squad and ran the third leg on the winning 4x800-meter team.
“Ashley is amazing,” said senior teammate Brynna Bowman. “Even though she’s a sophomore I look up to her. She works so hard in practice and it all pays off in meets.”
Bloomquist lined up against 13 competitors in the 1,500. She was aware her toughest foe would be Mt. Pleasant freshman Abby Ryon.
“I usually don’t like to take the lead,” Bloomquist said. “But this time, I just decided to take matters into my own hands right away. Abby and I are pretty good friends and I know how she likes to run. She has a strong kick.
“So I took the lead and then in the final 600 meters I decided to pick it up. Then in the last 300 I went into my kick.”
Ryon never caught up.
“I am glad Abby was there,” Bloomquist said. “She pushed me.”
Bloomquist’s winning time was 5:17.37, Ryon finished at 5:18.94. The third-place finisher was 13 seconds back.
Later, in the distance medley, Bloomquist teamed with Bowman, Alexis Jones and Malory Jones.
Bowman ran leadoff.
“I actually had one of my worst starts ever out of the blocks,” Bowman said. “But then I made up some ground. By the time I handed it off, we were either in first or second, so I felt pretty good about my 200.
“Then Alexis Jones looked strong in her 200 and by the time she was done, we were in first.”
Then it was time for Malory Jones to run the 400 leg of the relay.
“Malory did a really good job maintaining the lead,” Bloomquist said. “So I wanted to finish it off right for our team. I saw how hard Brynna, Alexis and Malory had worked so I didn’t want to let them down.”
“I had absolutely no doubt that we’d win once Ashley took the baton,” Bowman said. “She’s incredible. She pretty much sprints the whole 800.”
“Well,” said Bloomquist with a good-natured chuckle, “I try to sprint the full 800. I do run it as fast as I can.”
Collectively, the quartet destroyed their competition. Fairfield’s gold-medal time was 4:37.02. Central Lee finished in second place, more than 24 seconds back.
In the 4x800, Bloomquist teamed with Danae Drish, Carly Ferrel and Ashlyn Elmore.
“Danae started out really strong,” Bloomquist said. “When Carly got the baton, she deliberately held back in the first lap, and in the second lap, she made this huge move.”
Then Bloomquist ran a successful third leg.
“And then Ashlyn ran away with it,” Bloomquist said. “I’m really proud of how that team did.”
Their winning time was 10:41.71, more than 20 seconds ahead of second-place Central Lee.
For Bloomquist, it was a perfect day: three events, three gold medals.
“Our whole team had a good day,” Bloomquist said. “A lot of our girls are on vacation for spring break. And we still were strong overall.”
Amongst other highlights for Fairfield, McKenna Allison finished seventh out of 16 competitors in the shot put, Blair Bowman competed well in both the 100 and 200, and Hailey Pohren-Gevock took fourth in the 3,000.
Also for the Trojans, Jillian Dunlap, Alexis Jones, Brynna Bowman and Delaney Mondia took fourth in the 4x100 and 800-sprint medley.
Elmore finished third in the 800 and Malory Jones took silver in the high jump.
“Overall,” said Brynna Bowman, “our team did pretty well. Our numbers were better than our first meet. We showed improvement, that’s the main thing right now.”