Update: Senior Leah Heckaman finished out her CGA throwing career with two podium finishes at the state track & field finals at Indiana University, Bloomington. Heckaman finished fourth in the shot put and fifth in the discus. She reached 45 feet, 5¼ inches in the shot put and 142-1 in the discus.
Leah Heckaman has already made three trips to Bloomington for the Indiana state track and field finals. In 2013, she made the podium with a fifth-place finish in the discus and just missed it in the shot put.
Friday (June 6) will be her fourth time throwing the discus and her third time throwing both. She admits she is more relaxed heading into the state finals. “It has definitely become more comfortable each time,” Heckaman said. “You know what works for you.”
But the three-hour-plus trip is anything but old hat to her. The recently graduated Culver Girls Academy senior knows this is her last go-round before she heads off for the University of Cincinnati. Her goal is to move up the podium – way up – in both events. “That’s the plan,” she smiled.
Heckaman owns the CGA throws record book. She set the shot put record her sophomore year and bettered it to 46 feet, 2 inches earlier this spring. She broke Molly Engstrom’s (2001) discus record this spring as well with a toss of 146-4. She also owns the Rochester Sectional record in the shot put. Heckaman has won the shot put and discus at the sectional the past two years.
This week’s training has taken a slight curve with graduation. Heckaman, who is from nearby Plymouth, is staying at home now. She is maintaining the same hours as she has throughout the season, working out and practicing in the afternoon. But has she taken the added luxury of sleeping in? “Definitely,” she laughed.
At Bloomington, she will be one of 27 competitors when the discus competition starts at 3 p.m., followed by the shot put at 3:30. Everyone will take three throws, then the top 10 will move on the final round and have three more throws. Heckaman knows she has her work cut out for her because the field is very talented and deep.
After Friday’s competition, it is off to Cincinnati for freshman orientation and then the college workouts will begin, which will include the hammer along with the shot put and discus. But, for now, she is soaking up her final meet representing Culver.
“Today is the last day of lifting,” she said. “It’s the last day for everything this week.”