Dr. Phillips' senior Bridget Blake will go down as one of the most decorated high school distance runners in Florida history. Blake has won three consecutive 4A cross country state championships and has won four state titles outdoors as well. She is a two-time Foot Locker National finalist. Recently, the standout announced she will continue her running career at Florida State University and run for the nationally ranked Seminoles.
What was the recruiting process like for you?
The recruiting process was both exciting and a bit stressful as I am sure it was for all. Overall, I am so happy I had the opportunity to speak with many different coaches and take the visits I took.
What schools did you visit and why in the end did you choose FSU?
I only took two official visits. My first official visit was to Ole Miss with a bunch of other Florida girls and my second one was to the University of Iowa. Both schools had a lot to offer athletically and academically. It was really interesting to get a perspective of the two campuses and of course the midwest weather in Iowa! After the state meet I hung back in Tallahassee with some old teammates. This gave me the opportunity to see what it would be like to live in Tallahassee. I got to meet a lot of the team and besides being extremely gifted runners they were all so nice and funny. Along with meeting the team I got to see a glimpse of the Moore Academic Center and already knew of their Exercise Science program which is something I intend to pursue. I had the chance to run one of the many trails they have and walk around the campus as well. By the end of the trip I was sold between the team, campus and academic opportunities. All were bonuses to the connection I had already made with Coach Harvey. I could not ask for anything more between her and Coach Braman.
How did the recent success of the Seminoles and Coach Harvey's program factor into your decision?
Coach Harvey has led her team to seven consecutive podium finishes since being at Florida State and I think that speaks for itself. I have also seen the continuous development of many of her girls since they have been in her program. Ultimately, having a good connection was something extremely important in making my decision, and something that came very easy with her. I believe her program, as it has proved, will take me to the next level and was the best fit all around.
They've had success with freshman runners as well. Do you feel you can go in there and make an early impact?
I definitely feel like I have the ability to make an impact right away. They are loosing a few seniors so it puts me in a position to succeed right away. She has had a lot of success with freshman like Colleen and Aubree last year and Georgia this year. Coming out of high school and having similar backgrounds I think it is definitely a possibility to contribute early. I think I'm ready to step up to the the plate and exceed any expectations headed my way.
You've won three consecutive cross country state champsionshipsand are a two time Foot Locker National finalist. How would you sum up your cross country career?
Blessed! It's a journey I've definitely enjoyed through all the hardships and adversity. I have had great support along the way and have had many great opportunities. I am so thankful to have made so many friends and memories along the way. I have learned to never give up, everything will work out in the end, and to of course enjoy the journey!
What are you looking forward to most about running in college and what are your goals when you get there?
I am looking forward to the whole experience; to be a part of such a great team with such a great coaching staff, I couldn't ask for more. I definitely want to continue progressing as much as I can and make as big an impact as I can while I'm there. I know under Coach Harvey anything will be possible. Go Noles!