There will be a black and gold representative chasing a state medal underneath 90 degree weather this Friday on the Clovis Buchanan High track – and her name is Haleigh Batty, the fourth Cabrillo Conquistador in 14 years to advance to the CIF Track and Field championships.
The senior, who one year ago fell short of her CIF state qualifying mark in the long jump, will put on the Cabrillo High School track outfit one more time, as she’ll compete against the best track and field athletes in the state at the 2017 event.
Batty’s jump coach Vince Flowers says she has a quiet confidence instilled in her, as the senior gets ready to trek up north to California’s San Joaquin Valley for the Friday prelims, then perhaps the Saturday evening title events if she qualifies during the night before.
“I think she’ll pop one big jump. She has one or two good ones left in her,” Flowers said. “She’s trying to go up there and get a medal.”
Batty joins Duane Solomon (2003), Rebecca Miranda (2010) and Steven French (2015) as the quartet of Conqs who moved on to the state championship meet.
Last year, Batty needed to jump the CIF clinching mark of 18 feet, one inch to solidify her trip to Fresno County for the June championship event. Her leap of 16-11.50 left her out of the championship – and left a bitter taste of disappointment in her mouth.
But last Friday, Batty punched her ticket to Buchanan this time, planting herself at 18.10-75, surpassing the required mark. Flowers said that past meets that featured 2016 state qualifiers and top athletes from track powerhouses assisted Batty with her confidence to take on the challenge of clinching a state bid.
“She’s competed at Arcadia and Mount Sac (Los Angeles). I think she might be nervous, but she will be ready to compete. She is tough as heck,” Flowers said.
Her head coach Russ French, who watched his son compete in the pole vault state finals two years ago, raved about Batty’s athleticism.
“Watching her jump is like watching a deer go up a mountain,” French said. “She is spectacular.”
Batty will likely contend with two of the premier jumpers in the state in Agoura High’s Tara Davis – who jumped to 20-03.25 at the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet on May 26 – and Westlake’s Samantha Seaton – who planted herself with a second place mark of 19-01.00 at the Masters event.
Outside of her track coaches, CHS athletic director Dan Troup is another one who is energized about Batty’s state appearance.
“She’s a good representative for our school. We’re real proud of her,” Troup said. “It’s wonderful.”