Athlete of the Year will make academics a priority in college

Lansdowne High graduate Alex Bloom is 2015 Arbutus Times female Athlete of the Year. She excelled in cross country, basketball and softball.
Lansdowne High graduate Alex Bloom is 2015 Arbutus Times female Athlete of the Year. She excelled in cross country, basketball and softball. (File photo/2015)

When classes begin on August 26 at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, the college campus will be receiving an outstanding local athlete that was a standout in four sports at Lansdowne High.

But Alex Bloom, the 2015 Arbutus Times Female Athlete of the Year, will not be focusing on sports at UMBC.


In fact, she won't be competing in any NCAA sports at the school, although she may play soccer for the club team.

Soccer was a sport she played for 11 years, but gave it up after her sophomore at Lansdowne to try a new sport — cross country — for her junior and senior years.

"I gave it (soccer) up altogether but I really did fall in love with cross country," Bloom said. "I think I might want to join the club soccer team because I do miss playing soccer, but I'm going to focus more on academics. I'm focusing on pre-dental because I want to be a dentist."

Bloom, who plans to major in Biology, finished third in her senior class at Lansdowne High.

"She is an awesome girl, an awesome student," cross country coach Jon Briggs said.

When cross country ended at Lansdowne, she showed her leadership and willingness to do anything for the team by switching positions to help the basketball team.

In the spring, she was a senior leader and Unsung Hero on the regional champion softball team.

In the first big race of her season year she placed 32nd in a time of 22:46 in the Barnhart Invitational.

But, her most memorable race came in her final one at the Maryland state championship meet at Hereford High.

"Definitely, this past state meet at Hereford was probably one of my favorites," Bloom said. "It's just the feeling of knowing that all of my hard work paid off and just being able to get out there and run.'

In the Class 2A state meet race she clocked 23:25.5 and finished 79th.

"I found out that I was capable of really putting myself out there and getting the farthest that someone could go," Bloom said. "I think It kind of gave me the motivation to be the best physically fit that I could be and like push myself past what I could do."

She also grew passionate for her new sport.

During the winter, the Vikings' basketball team won only five of 20 games, but Bloom was a captain and point guard for coach Nick Welsh after playing shooting guard during most of her career.


"She ran the offense. She was able to take our game plan and execute it on the floor," Welsh said. "She was a real intelligent player who played smart and played hard the whole time."

The losing was tough, but Bloom was realistic.

"I think it was we had to take it one game at a time because we had a lot of worthy opponents and we wanted to challenge them but we had to take it one game at a time and focus on what we had to do that day rather than try to figure out everything all at once," she said.

"I could always count on her to keep the team loose and energize them and really push the team to get them going," Welsh said.

Defense was also a priority for Bloom and her coach appreciated the effort day in and day out.

"She always gave 110 percent the whole game whether she was exhausted or not or injured," Welsh said. "She would always do her best and because of that tenacity, it really helped her out on the defensive end so she was able to get a lot of steals."

Welsh also praised her academics.

"Academically, she was amazing. She was in the top 10 of her class," he said. "She took very challenging classes and always managed to balance homework and classwork as well as doing sports. She was very responsible, very independent and a very good work ethic."

Statistically, her best sport was softball where she had the third highest batting average (.379) and on base percentage (.476). She also had three triples a double and home run.

The home run came in her final at bat at home in the regional semifinal win over Loch Raven.

"It was great," she said. "I had never hit a home run before and I honestly didn't think that I had like the strength and the power to hit a home run so I think it kind of like gave me a lot of confidence because I then saw that I actually could do it."

Her other favorite individual memory came in the Vikings' 5-3 win over Eastern Tech in the regional championship.

That win ended Eastern Tech's 43-game winning streak.

"That (home run vs. Loch Raven) and catching the last out at the Eastern (Tech) regional championship game were the most memorable games I had," she said. "It was a pop up and caught it for the last out and we won the regional championship."

Bloom cherished the moment.

"It was kind of surreal because Eastern Tech was our big rival and my junior year we lost to them pretty bad and we lost to them pretty bad at the beginning of the season my senior year, so it was amazing to just know that we had it in our minds that we were going to accomplish it in our minds and we did."

Her body of work on the diamond all season was what impressed coach Ken Goodman the most and she was named the team's Unsung Hero.

"She was my go-to, if I needed a spot filled, she filled it," Goodman said "She was a true utility, but she was my strongest player on the right side of the field. If I knew that the traffic was coming to second base, I knew I wouldn't have a problem with her over there."

She also played third base, first base and center field and finished with a .921 fielding percentage with only three errors.

Bloom also started three double plays during the season and had diving catch in the Vikings' 11-1 loss to Easton in the Class 2A state semifinal game.

She was one of only two Vikings, along with standout Hannah Goodman, who did not strike out against Easton ace hurler Savannah Miles.

It was a disappointing ending, but Bloom enjoyed the journey and 13-6 record getting there.

"It was tough, but we were really close as a team and just happy to come as far as we did," Bloom said.

Bloom was one of only three senior starters on the team which she always put first.

"She was a true team player in every sense of the word," Goodman said. ""Whatever needed to be done, she did it."

It was that softball team that she appreciated the most.

"I have never been on a team that was more friendly and closely-knit together than this past softball team," she said.