San Marin High School senior Haley Blount, a Marin County Athletic League champion in diving last year as a junior, has officially signed her letter of intent to attend University of Utah next year on scholarship.
Blount, who is the second member of the San Marin swim and dive team to sign — Kenneth Castro-Abrams signed to attend Harvard last month — narrowed her choice after visiting Utah, Miami (Ohio), New Mexico and Arizona State this fall.
“To me, Utah had the all-around package," she said. "I loved the campus, facilities, team camaraderie, and the coaches. I knew it was a perfect fit."
Haley, daughter of Gary and Yvette Blount, didn’t start off as a diver. She was an accomplished gymnast, but after having problems with her joints soon realized she would have to find a different avenue in which to compete.
“A former San Marin student contacted me through a friend and suggested I look at diving, as she had the same issues with gymnastics when she reached my age,” she said.
Haley went out for the diving team her freshman year at San Marin. She grew to love it as it incorporated many elements of gymnastics. After a successful first year, a work associate of her mom suggested Haley try training with her daughter at Stanford for the summer. While the commute was long, Haley grew determined to become a champion diver and has continued to train at Stanford ever since.
“While it is quite a trip going back and forth, I love the training center and just wanted to keep working. I usually train in the evenings down there anywhere between 4-6 days a week depending upon the time of the year.”
The work has paid off. This last year as a junior Haley won the MCAL Championship in dominating fashion and then placed 4th at the NCS competition. Over the summer, she traveled to North Carolina for National Diving Championships and placed third in her age group. Colleges soon took notice and were clamoring for her to sign.
After visiting the four campuses this fall, Haley locked in her decision recently and officially signed her Letter of Intent on Nov. 14. She said she hopes to repeat as MCAL champion and win a NCS title on top of it before she graduates this spring.