Bridget Blake competed in the Foot Locker South Regional during her junior and senior year's at Dr. Phillips High School. Blake placed 7th and then 6th to qualify for the national meet in San Diego both years. We caught up with the current junior at Florida State to talk about her time at Foot Locker South and what she's been up to since.
Flrunners.com: What do you remember most about those races and competing in the postseason?
Bridget Blake: I remember going to pick up my bib number junior year flipping through the preview book and not being mentioned in those being predicted to qualify. You can't spend too much time worrying about those things! It's fun to travel to a new course to compete against girls you don't run against in your state and see where you and the rest of your state stand against them. Qualifying is pretty dang exciting as they quickly escort you to a tent to take pictures and fill out paper work to solidify your trip to SAN DIEGO! The excitement and relief felt filling out the paper work and talking with the girls is my most vivid memory.
FLR: I know the course has changed a little since you ran, but what advice do you have for runners that will be competing there this weekend against some of the top competition?
BB: I think it really depends on the kind of runner you are, but I would have to suggest getting out hard and hanging tough. Usually (USUALLY) most of the top ten is strung out by mile two. Ultimately I think it is important to put yourself in the race and take a chance if you really want to have a shot at qualifying.
FLR: How did this meet help propel your running career after high school?
BB: After finishing top 15 and claiming All-American honors my senior year I didn't want to stop running! It definitely made me hungrier to compete at the next level. College coaches are also take notice in how you finish in these big meets so give it what you've got and enjoy it!
FLR: You're currently in your third year at Florida State University. What has your time there been like so far?
BB: I redshirted cross country, indoor track and outdoor track my freshman year making me redshirt sophomore in eligibility. Your love for the sport will definitely be challenged at the next level, however for me I feel the best years of my collegiate career are ahead of me as I gear up for my second year in the FSU uniform on the track!
FLR: What else are you up to these days?
BB: These days I spend a lot of time dedicated to running, schoolwork and various volunteering activities! It is strange to think I have taken over the leadership position on my team as my time as a Florida State Seminole has flown by!