Athlete of the Week — Joshua HeywardJunior track and field star finds his niche
May 17, 2017
By Phox Truitt | Contributing Writer
This season has been a pretty successful trip for track star Joshua Heyward. Despite this being his first year participating in track & field, Heyward has already accomplished so much. Heyward says his greatest achievement this year was getting the best 100-meter dash time of the year for West Ashley High, making him the 5A Region champ with a time of 10.92. In addition to having the fastest time on the team, Heyward and his 4×100-meter relay team qualified for State.
Heyward was excited to compete at State this past weekend and to be named Athlete of the Week. “It feels good,” says Heyward. His success did not come overnight though; Heyward gives credit to his coach, Douglas O’Donald, for helping him get faster and stronger. “My coach gets me in better shape, and I work out after school,” says Heyward. It also helps that he does not have many distractions outside of school, so he can work on bettering himself. Heyward works for the Charleston RiverDogs at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park to keep his pockets full, but he only works part-time.
“He’s a football player that is participating in track for the first time and has become an emerging star,” says O’Donald. “Running 10.9 in his first season on the track is a tremendous accomplishment that he can build on for next season and add to his athletic credentials.” Heyward and the 4×100-meter relay team came in 4th place at State.
In the fall, Heyward plays football, so his athletic abilities were quite keen even before he started track. It was actually one of Heyward’s football teammates who convinced Heyward to join the track team. He loves both sports, but he claims that he loves track because it is so competitive. “If you are faster than them, you can come out and beat them,” says Heyward. It is just that cut and dry for him.
This season he only competed in two events: the 4×100-meter relay and the 100-meter dash. Luckily for West Ashley High, Heyward is only a junior, so he still has another year to train and compete. Hopefully he will compete in more events next year. As the season comes to a close, Heyward reflected on how far he’s been able to come in just a few months. He expressed gratitude for Coach O’Donald for supporting him in his training and for being such a great motivator. We look forward to watching him on the football field in the fall and back on the track next spring.