“I was ecstatic,” said Crystal Blamy (Class of 2008), one of this year’s Keene State College Athletic Hall of Famers. “I called my parents right away to share the amazing news. They were excited and proud. I have been wanting to get this phone call since the day I graduated. I am extremely honored to be receiving such a prestigious accolade,” Blamy said in an email interview.
Blamy transferred to Keene State from Wheaton College in 2005 and competed in the 2005-2006 indoor and outdoor track season.
“[I was] LEC Field Athlete of the week in January, placed second at indoor LECs and placed fourth at Nationals and got an All American for indoor. The girls team also placed fourth at Indoor Nationals. Outdoor season—I qualified for Nationals but did not perform well. Before the 2007-2008 track season began I hurt my back stretching, which is ironic since I am extremely flexible,” said Blamy.
Blamy discussed her struggles after hurting her back.
“I spent a few weeks trying to rehab my back, but I was still in excruciating pain by the time indoor was about to start. I made the decision to take the year off. I decided to take advantage of the time off and studied abroad in Australia. My coach was scared I was going to come back out of shape and not ready for the 2008 indoor season.”
Blamy continued, “I made sure that didn’t happen and came back in the best shape of my college career. Indoor season 2008— [I was] LEC Conference High Jump Champion, LEC Field Athlete of the Year, NCAA Women’s Field Athlete of the Year New England Region and NCAA National High Jump Champion and All American. [The] women’s team placed fourth at Nationals.”
For outdoor track, Blamy was named LEC Conference High Jump Champion, LEC Field Athlete of the Year, NCAA National High Jump Champion and All American, as well as named LEC Field Athlete of the week nine times between indoor and outdoor season. During her time at Keene, the women’s team placed fourth at nationals.
In regards to her time as a Keene State athlete, Blamy said, “Keene State didn’t have an indoor track or outdoor track. During indoor, my teammates and I pulled the high jump mats onto the basketball court for practice. We could not use our spikes due to the surface; this made it difficult to make my approach to the bar consistent. Sometimes our coach would bring us to another college to use their facilities. During outdoor, we could use the local high school tracks to practice.”
Blamy explained how this made her a better athlete. “Although I was at a disadvantage of not having a facility, I think it made me work that much harder to prove I could be the best.”
Along with Blamy, Judy Izzo, (Class of 1999), Bill Williams (Class of 2001) and the 2003-2004 basketball team will be inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame.
Tom Benoit can be contacted