WATERTOWN – Watertown-Mayer High School senior Ailsa Gilbert has experienced a lot in her high school athletic career. Whether it’s been competing at the state gymnastics meet, or bringing home hardware at the state track and field meet, Gilbert always seems to bring her best to the biggest stages.
While she still has one season left to capture more hardware to add to her collection, Gilbert took the next step toward the future of her athletic career when she officially signed with the University of Montana to continue her track and field career at the collegiate level.
“It feels really cool,” Gilbert said about the moment. “I’ve worked so hard with gymnastics and track and field. It’s just signing a paper, but it feels like I actually did it. I accomplished it, and now I get to join a college team. It’s really cool.”
While Gilbert was busy signing her name and making it official, the gym at Watertown-Mayer High School was filled with those who are close to her. While it’s Gilbert’s moment to take in, she never forgets how much those people in the gym mean to her.
“It’s amazing,” Gilbert said about the support she has. “They’re always here to come and watch me and support me. They’ve been through it all. It’s awesome that my friends, my teammates, coaches, and family members all came out. It means a lot to me.”
Choosing a college can be difficult, but Gilbert just believed that Montana was the place for her.
“I was looking at another couple, but I just feel like the University of Montana just had so much to offer,” Gilbert said. “I felt very comfortable there. I love the campus, and the team is super cool.”
While the campus of the University of Montana is nearly 1,200 miles away from home, Gilbert is excited to get back out there again once her high school career is over.
“We have family friends out there, but I went out there on my official visit and it was an awesome time,” Gilbert said. “I had a blast. I’m excited to get out there again.”
Although Gilbert has plenty of hardware to her name already in her high school career, she knows that college competition is on a whole other level. While she might be nervous for some things, she’s eager to work on the little things that will help her improve in the long run.
“I’m nervous for lifting at the college level,” Gilbert said with a laugh. “I haven’t been in the weight room a lot, but I’m excited to improve my muscles. I also just want to work on technique. They are so much more advanced and have all this equipment and resources that I’m excited to use and get better.”
While eager to get her college career going, Gilbert will be looking to simply enjoy her final season in a Royals uniform. She’d like to defend her title in the triple jump this season, but in the end, it’s all about enjoying her final season.
“I just want to get some new personal records and have fun with it,” Gilbert said.