Summer Blackamore didn’t want to go to far away from home when she went to college.
Fortunately, when she visited Indiana State University, a two-hour drive away, she felt like she’d never left.
“I didn’t feel out of place. I felt at home,” said Blackamore, a senior Wildkat track and field standout. She signed a letter of intent with ISU on Monday.
Blackamore said that in her visit to the school, and then a week later at a home meet, she found a comfort zone with the coaches and athletes on the men’s and women’s teams.
“It was the whole group,” she said. “I bonded with [coach Angela Martin], had a nice conversation with her, and the throws coach is Erin Gilreath, I had a bond with her from talking on the phone, to meeting her in person. And then with all the girls, and the guys too at practice, we all bonded together.”
In Blackamore, Indiana State gets one of the top throwers in the state. Blackamore took fifth in the state in shot put last year with an effort of 42 feet, 10.25 inches, and was seventh in discus with a toss of 132-4.
At Kokomo she works under the eye of throws coach Bobby Pettigrew, a two-time state champ in shot put when he was a student at Kokomo. He was the first person to clue her in as to her potential.
“I threw in middle school but I didn’t have a coach,” Blackamore said. “I was trying to teach myself and go with what I saw, but my freshman year, after about sectionals when I got first in shot and disc, he told me at regionals ‘you can make it to state. If you keep getting better every year, in four years you’ll get a scholarship.’”