In a span of two weeks, Haleigh Batty stood in the middle of two prominent stages – the CIF track and field state championships in Clovis on June 2-3 and her high school graduation ceremony at Cabrillo High, which was June 8.
It was the former, though, that left a lasting impression for the star long jumper – and got her to put Vandenberg Village on her back while going against some of the best athletes in the state.
Batty shared her experience at the state finals in Buchanan High with The Record following her CHS graduation ceremony. She ended her prep track career by placing in the top 10 of her event, splashing in the dirt with her mark of 18 feet, 1.75 inches.
And she was taking her leaps against one of the most dominant athletes in the event in Agoura High’s Tara Davis, who won the state medal with her jump of 22-1.25.
“The level of competition was great. There were some great athletes out there like Tara Davis. I’m just glad that I got a chance to compete against her because she’s a great athlete. It was a real fun experience and I’m glad about it,” Batty said.
The senior, who also played forward for the undefeated Los Padres League champion girls basketball team, admitted she was in awe with how athletic Davis was.
“Honestly I hadn’t really heard of her until earlier this year – and the first time I got to compete against her was in the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet,” Batty said. “I remember her ankle was hurting, but she still popped 20 feet. She’s an amazing athlete.”
Her appearance at the blue clad track surface at Buchanan ended three previous years of frustration and falling short of a state bid.
“Last year I was working on getting state, but I didn’t quite make it. I kind of choked in the finals last year,” Batty said. “But I’m so glad I made it this year. I’m really pleased about that.”
So now the burning question for Cabrillo’s first state qualifier since Rebecka Miranda in 2012 is – will Batty continue her jumping career in college?
“It is definitely in my future,” Batty said. “I’m considering going to Hancock College for two years and then transferring to a university.”
She hasn’t specified on which university she plans to attend, or if becoming a Bulldog track athlete is officially set in stone. But for now, Batty can smile at her track career as the sun officially has set on her CHS career.
“Looking back on it – all the friendships, family I made through track and field is amazing,” Batty said.