A Star Person First, A Star Athlete Second

Carter Smith, Contributing Writer

The only thing better than being able to continue competing in your favorite sport at the next level is breaking the record on your own home soil. Achieving such a feat takes years of hard work, dedication, and tenacity, pushing your limits to ultimately become the best version of yourself. 

Ashley Blannard, a senior track and field athlete at Bloomsburg University was able to experience these things. Just last week at the BU Maroon and Gold Invitational, she broke the women’s BU school record for the triple jump event. Despite the terribly windy conditions she was presented with, Blannard attacked the triple jump, leaping farther than she ever had before.  

With a distance of 12.14 meters (39ft 10in) after the third jump, Blannard felt euphoria. Breaking the record was an incredible moment in my career. Every time I think back on it, I am just beyond thankful that I was able to achieve that. I wouldn’t say that I was “expecting” to break the record, but it was a goal of mine. I definitely couldn’t have done it without the support of my friends, family, team, and coaches.” 

In just a few seconds, from start to finish, Blannard saw the outcome of all the years of hard work she had put in. Breaking the school record is something that she had been working for since committing to Bloomsburg University. 

Not only was she able set the Bloomsburg University record, but she also set a NCAA Provisional Mark, meaning that if she remains near the top of all competitors, she qualifies for the NCAA National Tournament. Blannard ranks seventeenth in all of Division Two women’s triple jump and looks to hold this incredible mark. 

Her senior year outdoor track season has been nothing short of special. Of course, breaking the triple jump record was the highlight of the season, but you simply cannot ignore the strong performances all season from Blannard, specifically in the month of April.  

Meet Name  Event  Position Finished  Distance  Date 
Millersville Metrics  Long Jump 

Triple Jump 



18’ 4.5” 

37’ 2.25” 

April 2nd 
Elliston Earlybird  Long Jump 

Triple Jump 



17’ 9.5” 

37’ 1.25” 

April 8th-9th 
Bison Outdoor Classic  Triple Jump  4th  38’ 9”  April 14th 
Shippensburg Mid-Week  Long Jump 

Triple Jump 



17’ 6.25” 

39’ 4.5” 

April 20th 
Bucknell Team Challenge  Triple Jump  2nd  38’ 5”  April 23rd 
Maroon and Gold Invite   Long Jump 

Triple Jump 



18’ 9.75” 

39’ 10” 

April 29th 

Above: Blannard’s performances across the month of April 2022.  

Being able to collect six first place finishes out of ten total events shows the domination Blannard had over the month of April. Very few athletes are able to do this in one event, let alone two.  

Throughout the four years of competing for the maroon and gold, she was not only able to develop as an athlete, but also as a human being.  

Blannard, originally from the Wyoming Valley area outside of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. She has been competing in track and field events for as long as she can remember. However, being a star athlete was not exactly what she had always wanted to be. In fact, she grew up wanting to take after the people who helped teach her everything she needed to know.  

Ashley Blannard is a part of the Education program here at Bloomsburg University, majoring in Early Childhood Education (Pre-K to 4th grade) and Special Education (Pre-K to 12th grade). Just like on the track, Blannard has put in years of hard work and dedication to pass on her knowledge to those younger than her.  

Bloomsburg University has an established and respectable teaching program that seemed as if it was a perfect fit for Blannard. She stated, “What drew me to Bloomsburg was the proximity to home, coaches, positive atmosphere, and clean campus. I remember that choosing Bloomsburg was one of the most exciting decisions that I have ever made, and I am so glad that I did.” Expressing her gratitude for the Huskies was something that Blannard felt she needed to do, as she has loved every second of being a BU Husky. 

Upon graduating from the university, she looks forward to taking a position with Northwestern Lehigh Middle School as an eighth-grade learning support teacher. On top of becoming a teacher, Blannard is hopeful to earn the Assistant Coach position for the track and field team. 

She had this to say about her final year as a Husky coming to an end, “The year being over is bittersweet. I do not think it has sunk in yet, but I am going to be upset about not being able to practice with my team and compete. I am excited to see what the next chapter holds.”