Waimea’s Batalion leaps into track

Waimea High School’s Bailon Batalion wants to go far. Down the runway, and far into the sand pit that is.

Batalion jumped 42 feet, 5 inches in the triple jump at the last Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation track meet. It was his first jump attempt of the day.

At the Mayor’s Invitational track meet earlier this month he jumped 42 feet 7 1/2 inches.

“I have to do it in a KIF meet, though,” Batalion said of his longest triple jump. “I can’t use that to qualify for states because it wasn’t a KIF meet.”

The 17-year-old senior from Kaumakani set a personal goal for this year to jump 43 or 44 feet in the triple jump.

Batalion kind of fell into running track and doing field events his sophomore year.

“I wanted to play football, but I’m a little too slow for it,” he said. “So I played soccer and thought, ‘I might as well run track too to get faster.”

Not knowing which events to do, he relied on his coaches advice.

“My coach asked me if I wanted to try the long jump, so I did,” he said. “My first time my jumps were pretty shady. I jump 16s.”

But last year, he improved greatly.

“I thought I wasn’t going to do well, but then I started jumping in the high 19, low 20-foot range and then I made states,” he said.

About halfway through last year, Batalion also decided to tack on something new to his repertoire. It was then when he started doing the triple jump.

“It was my first year doing it and I made states,” he said. “My goals for this year are to do good in the long and triple jump.”

Batalion also runs in the 4×100- and 4×400-meter relays. He has already qualified for states in the long jump when he jumped 20 feet 3 1/4 inches at the very first qualifying meet of the year.

Waimea coach Dave Walker said he is a great part of the team. “He’s a great kid, a great athlete and a hard worker.” Batalion is currently looking at junior colleges and Division III schools in California to run track. He would like to study either engineering or sports medicine.

Although he hasn’t competed in any national invitational meets yet, he would like to. Batalion heads to Maui this weekend for an invitational track meet.

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