After a successful season of hurdling, Ladysmith’s Haleigh Lloyd is kicking up her heels in her hometown.
The track star, a former CVACs athlete, is home from her second year in the nursing program at the University of Alaska at Anchorage and taking a much-needed break from the school’s Seawolves Athletics team.
“I wanted to take the summer off because I never have,” she said. “I could have gone to the Olympic trials if I wanted to, but it’s been a nice break and I’m glad I did it.”
Lloyd, a 2010 Ladysmith Secondary School grad, broke her own university record for the 100- and 400-metre hurdles. Her 4×100 relay team also broke a record.
Lloyd set a Great Northwest Athletic Conference record in the 400 hurdles in 59.98 seconds in Salem, Ore., and then bettered it in Azusa, Calif., to 59.62.
At the GNAC conference meet, Lloyd’s focus was on the 100 hurdles, and she won the conference title with a huge personal best time of 14.23.
At the NCAA Div. 2 championships in Pueblo, Colo., Lloyd earned All-American honours in the 400 hurdles final, finishing seventh in 59.91.
“That’s the fastest I’ve ever gotten my time down to, and it has definitely been the hardest I’ve ever trained,” Lloyd said. “It was the best season I’ve ever had … I worked hard, and my times came down.”
Lloyd has been running track since Grade 5 and got interested in hurdles in high school.
“To me, it’s like any other race that anyone else does; it’s natural for me [now],” she said. “When I run races without hurdles, it feels weird.”
While she has national aspirations for next year’s season, Lloyd is unsure of whether she will make the leap toward Olympic pursuits.
“I’ll hit that hurdle when it comes,” she said. “For now, I’m just going to focus on school.”
— with files from the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial