Catch her if you can, but don't bet on it
Heymach, a Pearland resident who currently is in eighth grade at Nolan Ryan Junior High School, first got into the sport through her involvement with softball, where her preternatural speed was quickly evident.
“They called me Speedy because I ran around the bases really fast, so my mom wanted to put me on the track team,” Heymach said. “I thought it would be a good idea.”
It did not take her long to achieve success. She began running competitively the year she started, as a 9-year-old in the summer before she began fourth grade. Heymach immediately won a national title, taking home the top spot in the 800-meter run at the USATF Junior Olympics in Omaha.
Heymach soon began honing her skills as a member of Rising Stars Track Club, where she is under the tutelage of Ivory Kimble, whose training strategies have helped transform her into one of the top junior distance runners in the nation.
“We try to do workouts to keep up our speed,” Heymach said. “The intensity goes up each week going toward what we want to peak for, which are the national competitions.”
To date, Heymach has put together a spectacular record in national events, racking up first place finishes this summer in the 1,500- and 3,000-meter runs at the AAU Junior Olympics, which were held in Humble, and a silver medal at the USATF Junior Olympics in Baltimore.
More recently, on Nov. 28, Heymach outraced 140 competitors to win the AAU cross-country championship in the 4K race, when she surpassed her personal best time and finished nine seconds ahead of the second-place contestant.
“I like improving,” Heymach said. “I like seeing myself do a lot better over time and getting to my peak at a national race.”
Although her successes at age 14 surpass those that most will ever achieve, Heymach has no plans to stop any time soon. She looks forward to participating in high school meets when she begins to attend Manvel High School next school year, where she expects to specialize in the 5K race.
In addition to her victories on the track, Heymach is also an aspiring musician. She began playing the clarinet in fifth grade, and last year, she became a member of the Houston Youth Symphony.
About Julia Heymach
Community Connection: Attends Nolan Ryan Junior High School
Fast Fact: Has played clarinet for four years
Chris Marshall is a freelance writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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