For Bonvie Fosam to become one of the top jumpers in the state, she needed a lot of self-discipline to go along with her talent. It paid off in a triple jump gold medal for the Robbinsville High graduate at this year’s NJSIAA Meet of Champions, and will be needed for a lot more than that over the next four years.
Fosam signed to continue her athletic and educational career with the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. With a goal of going into the medical corps, Fosam realizes her discipline becomes more important than ever to survive the rigors of officer training.
“Everyone who is at West Point is pretty self-disciplined,” said Fosam, who moved from England to America at age 3 and gained U.S. citizenship several years ago. “I’m excited to learn better habits and better strategies that will help me with time management, and things like that, that will help me in the future.”
Ravens coach Christina Fisher feels Fosam is the perfect fit for West Point.
“She’s ready for it,” Fisher said. “That’s who she is. She’s not one to mess around, she’s not one to do things the wrong way, ever. She’s very regimented and scheduled. She likes routine. Those are some of the things that will benefit her going off to West Point.”
They were also some of the things that helped her become the best triple jumper in the state after finishing second to Hawthorne’s Katlin Salisbury last year. Fosam was happy with her mark of 39-4, which was a PR at the time. She knew, however, that with Salisbury graduated, all the expectations fell on her to win it this year.
“I definitely felt the pressure,” she said. “But I like pressure. It motivates me and encourages me not to give up.”
After quadrupling and going undefeated throughout the dual meet season, Fosam easily won Central Jersey Group II and Group II states, and gained her MOC gold with a hop, skip and jump of 39-9. It came on her second trial jump and was 3 inches short of her PR of 40-0, set at this year’s Mercer Coaches Classic. But it beat Wallkill Valley’s Samantha Lopes by 1¾ inches.
“That effort was amazing, like it should be to win the triple jump crown,” Fisher said. “Expectations were high for her coming in from last year when she got second. Her expectations were high and mine were high as well. When she has pressure put on her she just out-competes everyone else.”
Fosam said winning triple was “something in the back of my mind for basically the entire year since last year. Winning was just such a huge accomplishment for me and such a great ending to my high school career.”
Fosam had an outstanding senior season, especially when the big meets rolled around. At the Mercer County Championships, she won the 100, long jump and triple jump and took third in the high jump. At sectionals, she won the triple and long, was second in the high and took third in the 100 meters.
“That day at sectionals, she had all four events within a couple hours of each other,” Fisher said. “She was running the 100 at the same time she was jumping 5-2 at high jump.”
Fosam improved to second in the 100 at states while winning the triple, but she did not place in the 100 at Meet of Champions. She concluded her high school career with a 17th-place finish at the New Balance Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina, with a jump of 39-2½.
“I think it was just a really good closing,” Fosam said. “Earlier in the season, I started a bit shakier than my junior year. But the theme of this season was perseverance, and I think I did that pretty well.”
With all she accomplished at RHS, Fosam leaves an impressive legacy both on and off the track.
“I gave a 10-minute speech about her at our banquet,” Fisher said. “Coming into this program, she’s made a ginormous impact for Robbinsville. She set the standard super high. She’s the most modest and humble competitor you’d ever meet. Just having those qualities and characteristics of being humble and competitive, the drive of wanting to win and work hard is really important and she demonstrates all of that.”
Fosam takes justifiable pride in what she has done over the past four years.
“Like coach said, I think I made a big impact on my school’s program,” she said. “I hope people remember me.”
She will be tough to forget, especially if she continues to thrive at West Point. Fosam received massive interest from recruiters and narrowed her top three choices to Pittsburgh, University of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Military Academy. She was approached by West Point at last year’s nationals, and, after researching the school and program, decided it would be the right fit.
“I saw everything they had to offer, and thought it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down,” Fosam said. “I’m gonna give it a try and see how it goes.”
“I think it is a massive accomplishment just to be considered at West Point,” Fisher said. “She’s just like that model student-athlete, you can’t ask for anything better. It will be a great experience, it will be nice for her.”
Fosam admitted to not being a big U.S. military buff and is not an expert on all the great battles and officers over the years. But that’s not why she made the choice.
“I definitely am a selfless person,” Fosam said. “I think it’s just an important role as a person to do things that are bigger than yourself, and help other people.”
Fosam doesn’t have very long to enjoy the summer, as she leaves for school on July 3. She fully understands the rigors she faces over the next four years, and is not expecting a lot of slaps on the back for what she accomplishes.
“They don’t hand compliments out that often,” she said with a laugh.
If Fosam follows through with her goal of going into the medical corps, she will have to attend medical school. She’s unsure if that will happen immediately after graduation, or after she serves some time in the army.
As for track, she is not worried about what lies beyond college.
“I’m the type of person who likes to take things one step at a time,” Fosam said. “So, as long as I do things that help me improve and take it one step at a time I think good things will come.”