This season of the 'unknown' has churned out some wonderful stories
Fall 2020 was supposed to be the season that Hailey Heiar would lace up her indoor sneakers and spike balls around the gym. The talented sophomore volleyball player from East Dubuque HS decided to come out for cross country because her season was moved to the winter because of Covid-19.
Heiar competed in distance running as an eighth-grader several years, running 7:00 in the mile. However, shortly after coming out for the high school team this past summer, Heair clocked 5:45 in a time trial.
Heiar won her first six contests which included a personal best three-miler in 17:49.
Heiar suffered her first loss at the Oregon Regional to Winnebago's Natalia Martino. It was a close battle throughout the affair. The following weekend at the Seneca Sectional, Martino once again prevailed with the win.
The final meet of the season, the Shazam Championships, would be the race of Heiar's career.
Fueled by competing against Martino one more time had to be a tremendous motivation. In addition, a stacked field littered with the best girls in Class A was an opportunity that could not be overlooked.
Led by champion Anna Perry of Eureka's charge, Heiar was just five seconds off of the lead at the first mile in 5:49. She held on strong for a tough fourth place overall in 18:43 for the 5K distance.
It now appears that Heiar will have a tough decision to make next fall, presuming the fall sports are back in the normal rotation. "I really don't know which way I'm going to go," Heiar said. "It's going to be a really tough decision. We'll have to see. Maybe there's a way I can do both."