COBLESKILL — Olivia Chamberlain made another leap Monday morning, this time not into the track jump pit, but into the University of New Hampshire athletic program.
The Cobleskill-Richmondville senior jumper signed her National Letter of Intent to leap for the Wildcats in a ceremony in the Golding Middle School library seated next to her family in front of friends and administrators.
“I’m so excited, this is the moment I’ve been waiting for, for four years now,” Chamberlain said. “I never thought that I would be committing DI, even with a full-ride scholarship.”
Entering UNH as an exercise science major, she plans to attend graduate school to become a physical therapist, Chamberlain turned down offers from UMass Amherst and Quinnipiac, making her choice using her own pro/con list.
“Every time a new off offer would roll in a new list come out,” she said. “It was really hard going back and forth between those three schools for probably a couple of weeks, new offers coming in.
“New Hampshire was the decision, I’m very excited to go there.”
Chamberlain’s sister, Elyse, attends Rhode Island, but had some insight into UNH.
“She visited UNH when she was looking at colleges, she was actually able to get on campus for a tour,” Chamberlain said. “She was able to tell me a lot about the campus.
“She was able to tell me what to really look for, go where you are going to fit in and have the best time. It helped me a lot in the long run.”
Chamberlain was thrilled to make the call to her new UNH coaches making her verbal commitment, but then made the calls to the runner-up programs.
“They were very difficult,” she said. “They said thank you for doing it because sometimes the parents would do it, but I took it upon myself to actually talk to the coach and explain to them why I felt their school wasn’t the one for me.”
Chamberlain said the UNH staff was impressed with her aggressive workouts.
“My work ethic was extreme because they heard that I had been lifting before, which is very rare for high school athletes to start doing,” she said. “That was definitely something that they were interested in.”
As a full scholarship Division I athlete, Chamberlain hopes that she brings more attention to her sport at Cobleskill-Richmondville for upcoming young athletes.
“Normally when people look at track, they’re not looking at the jump events, which I just really want to encourage the kids to get into it,” she said. “It is so much fun and you get a lot of it.
“That’s what I would leave behind, try new things, try it out.”
Chamberlain, like other New York state athletes, lost out on the 2020 outdoor season, while this year’s indoor track season has been postponed to Jan. 4 and lacks venues for competition. She hopes that she will get a senior outdoor season in the spring.
She traveled to The Armory in New York City with the Sky’s the Limit Track Club, based in Colonie.
“We compete safely, with masks and everything and that’s been amazing to do,” Chamberlain said. “I’m not with the Bulldogs, not under the Bulldog name, it’s still great to be out there competing again.”
If she gets to put on a Bulldogs track uniform once again, she wants to make the most of it.
“I really want to try and get that state title,” she said. “Hopefully, outdoor states would be there because I’ve been so close, and I just want to be able to do this for Cobleskill.”