When Allison Barwise hit on the mats during the East Coast Athletic Conference Championship at Princeton University on May 13, she was overwhelmed with emotion. A member of the Boston University women’s track and field team, the junior completed a leap of 1.87 meters that not only accomplished a season-long goal, but will also give her the chance to compete at an international level.
“When I landed on the mats and realized that the bar was still up, the most exhilarating feeling shot through my body,” Barwise said in an email interview on Thursday. “I have never been so excited in my life. I jumped off the mats and ran to my coaches… It’s a very unique feeling to work so hard toward a specific goal and have it be able to pay off. It’s pretty rare.
“I honestly surprised myself on that jump,” she said. “I wasn’t really expecting to make it because I had attempted it so many times without success.”
With her success, Barwise, who had the top jump in the ECAC Championship, qualified for the U.S. Olympic trials. The leap, which was second in the NCAA this season, gave Barwise an automatic ‘A’ standard for the trials and was just short of BU’s record.
“I knew ahead of time what I needed to jump to make the trials,” Barwise said, “so when I cleared the 1.87 I instantly knew what it meant… I was extremely excited at first and then it was somewhat overwhelming. It was my goal to make trials and so in clearing that bar and knowing I had qualified I was ecstatic.”
The Orange, Conn., native’s most recent accomplishment comes at the end of an impressive junior campaign.
“I have been fortunate to stay healthy and be able to compete well all season long,” Barwise said. “My indoor season also went really well and I think that gave me a boost of confidence heading into the outdoor season.”
Barwise held the best mark in the America East conference for the high jump, with 1.80 meters, and in the heptathlon, with 5014 points, during the outdoor season. Barwise then set a conference record in the high jump with a mark of 1.82 meters at the America East Championships.
She received the Coaches’ Award at the America East Championships as she had accumulated the most points out of any female competitor. Most recently, Barwise was named an U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association First Team All-American in the high jump after she finished fifth in the NCAA Championships with a jump of 1.81 meters.
“This outdoor season has gone extremely well,” Barwise said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better season so far, I just hope that I will be able to continue to do well through the post season.”
While Barwise is excited about her accomplishment, she said she now finds herself nervous as the thought of participating in the trials settles in.
“It’s intimidating to jump with athletes that are the top in the world,” Barwise said, “but I’m so grateful that I get this opportunity and the nerves that I have are good nerves and I am also still very excited.
“I need to just go and treat it as just another meet and opportunity to jump well. As long as I stay focused and jump how I have been all season there is nothing else I can ask for. This is going to be a huge learning experience for me and I can’t wait to see how everything turns out.”
Ultimately, Barwise said that she would be pleased with nearly any of the outcomes of the trials.
“I will be happy with just about any result,” Barwise said. “[It] is just such an honor to even make it there.”