Bleam makes final Trip to Ship
High School track meets in Pennsylvania have 18 events. And Hunter Bleam seems to be capable of competing in all of them. He’s also capable of winning most of them.
The Salisbury senior recently finished an outstanding high school athletic career with an appearance at the state track and field championships, held annually at Shippensburg University’s Seth Grove Stadium on the Friday and Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend.
Bleam took 11th place in the Class 2A high jump Friday after weather forced the event indoors and forced him to make some adjustments.
“I had never jumped indoors before,” said Bleam. “I wasn’t even thinking that was an option to go inside. I had a rain jacket. I had an umbrella. I was ready to jump in the rain, my mindset was ready. Then they sent us inside. I didn’t even have shoes to wear. I had to borrow shoes from my friend Tyson (Utesch). Luckily he was here and he gave me shoes to wear.”
Bleam, a two-time District 11 gold medalist in high jump, started his state meet at 5 feet, 8 inches. He cleared each of his first three heights on the second attempt, but was unable to get over the bar at 6-2.
“It wasn’t exactly what I wanted,” said Bleam, a fourth-place medal-winner at states last season whose career-best high jump is 6-6 from. “Originally I was just trying to PR. Once they moved it inside I realized that wasn’t going to happen so I was hoping for 6-4 or anything that would get me a higher-ranking medal.”
While high jump is Bleam’s best event, he’s also earned league or district medals in shot put and discus. He’s posted top 10 finishes at leagues or districts in the triple jump and 100-meter dash.
His versatility makes him a perfect fit as a decathlete in college, which he plans to do for the next four years at Lehigh University.
“I would like to do decathlon at Lehigh,” said Bleam, who plans to room with Utesch, a league champion pole vaulter, in college. “Hopefully I’ll be at nationals sometime next year.
“I’m really looking forward to it. If high school had [decathlon] I’d be all into it.”
Bleam was also one of Salisbury’s best basketball players the past two years and competed in three different fall sports (cross country, golf, football) during his four years of high school.
“I had a lot of great coaches and I enjoyed all the sports I’ve done, even sports like cross country that I only did for two years,” he said. “I made a lot of friends in that time. I enjoyed myself.
“Overall I’m pretty satisfied. Obviously I wanted it to end better, getting a medal. I know I have the next four years and I’m looking forward to that.”