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Sports >  High school sports

Prep track and field notebook: Mead’s Joseph Heitman makes point to aim high

By Greg Lee For The Spokesman-Review

Mead multievent standout Joseph Heitman isn’t afraid to set ambitious goals.

The senior captured state championships last spring in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles and finished second, 1 inch out of a third title, in the long jump.

Heitman accounted for 28 of the Panthers’ 39 points – which was good enough for the State 4A championship.

If Heitman checks off everything on his goal list this season, it will be nothing short of sensational.

Being an achiever is in Heitman’s DNA. It’s reflected in the classroom, too, where he carries a 3.9 grade-point average.

“I always shoot high, that’s how I’ve always been,” Heitman said. “I try to go after it each day. In my mind, if I stay healthy, the goals are very achievable.”

Heitman wants to defend his titles in the hurdles, capture the long jump title and assist a relay to a title. That would be four state titles and represent 40 points.

His potential state contributions, coupled with expected points from several other athletes, could mean a repeat title. And that’s another goal for Heitman.

“We’re definitely more talented and a more mature team this year,” Heitman said. “We have some growing to do, but we have some high expectations.”

He also wants to secure the school record in the 110. His personal best is 14.44 seconds, .26 off the record. He already owns the school record in the 300 (37.67) and his best in the long jump (23 feet, 6 inches) is 6 inches shy of the school mark.

If he has his way, though, he’ll lower the records considerably. He wants to beak 14 seconds in the 110, 37 seconds in the 300 and eclipse 24 feet in the long jump.

Next Wednesday, Heitman will sign a letter of intent to attend Washington State University, which he chose over Washington.

“There were quite a few reasons,” he said of why he chose WSU. “I liked the academic side of WSU, how collaborative they are with their athletes. I liked the academic advisers. And I like staying closer to home. I don’t think big city life is for me.”

Heitman plans to major in engineering. He’ll do hurdles, long jump and run relays.

He’s had a cautious start to the season after suffering what he called a minor hamstring injury.

“It’s not exactly the start I wanted, but we’re getting back to it,” he said. “The end goal is state and doing what we can to get there healthy and in the best shape.”

GSL changes

The GSL dual season begins next week with Mead’s boys favored and five-time defending girls champ Central Valley and Lewis and Clark expected to decide the title in the first week when they go head to head.

After four weeks of duals, GSL teams will meet the first week of postseason to decide berths to the District 8 meet against Mid-Columbia Conference teams. This was normally the league’s district meet before the Mid-Columbia Conference joined the district this year.

Postseason team champs will now be crowned along with deciding qualifiers for the showdown with the MCC.

In 4A, the top nine individuals and top four relays advance to district. In 3A, the top four individuals and top three relays advance.

At district, the top three individuals and relays in 4A earn state berths while the top two individuals and relays move on in 3A.

Other state berths can be earned by meeting state qualifying times/marks.

Great Northern League teams receive an extra berth for district.

The top three individuals and relays advance to meet Central Washington Athletic Association teams at the state-qualifying regional meet.

The GNL and CWAC teams will advance an extra place to state from the regional meet. The top four individuals and relays go to state.

Meet dedication

The Deer Park Invitational had a new name last week – the Glenn Wolf Memorial Invite.

Deer Park dedicated its meet in honor of the former Stags standout and longtime respected community member.

Wolf, a 1959 graduate, still holds records in the 100 (10.9), 200 (22.0) and long jump (21-11 3/4). Those records were set on cinder or dirt tracks. Deer Park didn’t have a track at the time.

He was the Stags’ lone state qualifier in 1959 when there was one meet. He scored enough points for Deer Park to place fifth.

Wolf competed at Washington State and placed fifth in the 100 at the Pac-8 championships.

After graduating, he returned to Deer Park to farm.

“When his own kids were in high school, he volunteered to help coach,” Stags coach Cameron Gilbert said. “He did this 15-20 years while farming full time. He is reported to have been in the field late into the night to make up for the time he spent coaching.”

Early-season bests

Here are some of the best times/marks posted by area athletes in March:

Boys – Charles Johnson, Cheney (100, 10.93; 200, 22.13); Tony Pizzillo, Shadle Park (49.94, 400); Josh Farr, Mead (javelin, 191-1); Michael Ervin, Ferris (high jump, 6-7); Jacob McGourin, Cheney (discus, 163-3); Isaiah Whitman, Mead (pole vault, 14-6); Cole Omlin, Cheney (hj, 6-5); Zach Annanie, Lakeside (pv, 14-4); Shamrock Campbell, Ferris (triple jump, 45-8); Nate Burch, Coeur d’Alene (110 hurdles, 14.85); Tyleer Trengove, Post Falls (hj, 6-8 1/2); Chase Gardom, Timberlake (tj, 43-11½).

Girls – Anna Rodgers, Lewis and Clark (100, 12.40); Alsatta Bakana, Cheney (200, 25.30; 400, 59.13); Katie Thronson, LC (1,600, 5:04.15); Erinn Hill, North Central (1,600, 5:08.03); Allie Janke, NC (1,600, 5:08.25); Mayyi Mahama, Pullman (discus, 135-11); Claire Dingus, University (800, 2:20.76); Emily Hernandez, Lake City (shot put, 41-0); Keara Simpson, Lake City (discus, 132-4).

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