There will be another Cabrillo High track and field standout that will run and jump at Westmont College.
This time it’s Ty Hernandez, as the long jumper, high jumper and hurdler signed his Letter of Intent to attend the four-year university in Montecito and compete for the Warriors’ track and field team. He signed the papers in front of family, coaches and his track and field teammates on Friday afternoon inside the CHS gym lobby.
Hernandez will soon become teammates with another CHS track and field star: Haleigh Batty, who signed her LOI last year after completing one season of track at Hancock College. Batty is currently a sophomore at Westmont.
“It’ll be a lot of fun,” Hernandez said about joining the 2019 recruiting class for Westmont. “I’m very excited for this moment.”
What it broiled down to for Hernandez when seeking out colleges was an institution that provided growth from a personal and athletic standpoint. He also cited location of the school.
The Christian liberal arts college offered just that for the 2018 CIF Southern Section Masters Meet qualifier Hernandez.
“Westmont is in a great location. It’s good for spiritual development and has great academics. Plus they have a great track program,” Hernandez said.
He adds he established a strong rapport with two of the Warriors’ coaches – including one who tried recruiting his former hurdles coach.
“One of the coaches, Coach Tom Fitzsimons, is someone I’ve known since the seventh grade. The current head coach Russell Smelley has been there for a very long time. He tried to recruit Alfredo Covarrubias, who was one of my former hurdler coaches in high school,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez was thankful for the nearly 50-plus people who filled up the CHS gym foyer entrance on Friday before 4 p.m. He proudly wore a burgundy colored Westmont College T-shirt and his parents and younger sister also wore Warrior colors.
After signing the documentation to become an official member of the college, Hernandez was bombarded with hordes of applause and cheers from his current track teammates and coaches who videotaped his crowning signing through their phone.
Hernandez – who stars in the 110 meter/300 meter hurdles and has long jumped for CHS – plans to compete in the same events in South Santa Barbara County.
Another selling point for Hernandez was the message Westmont sells for its athletes.
“They really want you to grow both as an athlete and as an individual – and that’s what Westmont preaches,” Hernandez said.
Along with his future teammate Batty, Hernandez adds to the list of CHS track standouts that have moved on to the college ranks – names such as Anthony Tyler II (UC Merced) and Duane Solomon (USC).
“The lineage is continuing,” Hernandez said. “It goes to show the proof is in the pudding with how great Cabrillo has produced track athletes. For the past 30 years, CHS has had great track athletes. The proof is in the pudding with how they’ve been able to produce great athletes.”
Hernandez plans to attend the fall 2019 semester at Westmont.