Get our newsletters

Track and field: Palisades’ Bottelier sets state high jump record


In the future, Lydia Bottelier may be one of a few people who saved her bedroom mirror as a high school student.

Not too many people paint their goals and attributes on them, but not everyone is a three-time state high jump champion.

“Before my junior year, I made notes on my phone about goals and attributes I would like to attain,” said the Palisades senior. “I had my personal goals, but I also wanted to be a good and supportive teammate.”

“But I totally forgot about it until after the end of the season.

Subconsciously, though, I actually achieved everything I wanted.”

Next, came the big step.

“From there, I painted goals on my mirror to serve as a daily reminder when I wake up,” added Bottelier. “It really helps motivate me every day and it is hard to miss.”

Bottelier recently ended her Palisades career with a new state record of 5 feet, 11.5 inches – capturing her third PIAA title in as many years – and will continue her career at the University of Pittsburgh this fall.

Her string of accomplishments began only six years ago in the seventh grade, when her 5-foot-11 height began to come into play. She also relied on some remnants from her gymnastics days in her early youth.

“I always knew I wanted to be on a track team,” stated Bottelier. “In fourth and fifth grade, there was a track meet at the end of the school year, and that was my first experience with the sport.

“At the start of the season in seventh grade, we were allowed to try any event we wanted to find our best fit. I liked the idea of the high jump and the coaches thought it would be good for me.

“My height wasn’t that far from where I am now and I basically was a string bean. But I liked it and it wasn’t too intimidating at first. I liked landing on the mats and it reminded me of a trampoline in gymnastics.”

Her father, Eric, grew up in Indonesia and was a track standout in several events. Her mother, Melissa, had a gymnastics background through high school.

They both helped their daughter build other events, such as the 200 – which Bottelier placed fifth in at states last year – 100 and 400. Bottelier was also a member of the 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams.

“My dad was always pushing me toward track, and my mom leaned toward gymnastics,” mused Bottelier. “My dad participated in nearly every track event growing up and that helped me deal with some flexibility in events.”

Through it all, Bottelier admittedly never lost confidence.

“I always have been able to stay motivated for practice and meets,” she said. “The coaches would pump us up for the meets.

“I had some bad days, but it always was a matter of trying hard.”

Bottelier realizes her chapter at Palisades is slowly closing as she inches toward graduation. Yet, she anxiously awaits a new frontier ahead in Pittsburgh.

“I was looking for a change of pace from Bucks County, and I really like the coaches and the atmosphere,” she said. “I am excited to be part of their program. I want to wait and see how things go.”

Speaking of goals, Bottelier and her father have investigated the possibility of the U.S. Olympic Trials in the upcoming years, as Bottelier would have to redshirt a season.

“I have my eye on the trials,” noted Bottelier. “My dad figured it out that if I redshirt it could work out. It definitely will be one of my goals.”

And it will be another line on her mirror.