Susannah Heinz of the Augusta Eagles high school team is one of the top runners out of the Augusta area. Only a sophomore, her future looks very bright after winning the GAPPS state title and having impressive performances at Meet of Champions and Running Lane XC Nationals in the post-season.
When did you first start running, and do you recall any of your childhood races?
I was ten years old before I ever ran as a sport. One of my favorite memories that year was a one-mile time-trial that my dad put on for some of my siblings. My seven-year-old brother was my competition, and together we broke nine minutes!
Was there a certain moment when you realized you'd be able to compete at such a high level?
There was not a particular moment, but after finishing first in the GAPPS middle school championship in eighth grade, I realized I could possibly compete at a higher level in the future.
What are some bumps in the road that you've encountered when it comes to training for different events during the season?
Thankfully, I actually haven't encountered many bumps along the way except for a couple of minor injuries and a really bad case of the flu during one track season.
How did COVID impact your training as you prepared for the season?
Its impact on me I actually believe was more good than bad, other than cutting track season short. It allowed more time for me to prepare mentally and physically for cross country and was just a nice break from the stress of competition.
Tell us about both of your post-season cross country races?
Both races were fun and new to me. I was really grateful for the invitation to the Meet of Champions and thoroughly enjoyed the race since I was up against so much competition. Running LaneXC Nationals was an overall exciting race, the course was great and the number of elite athletes there all at one was amazing to see!
How do you feel about your performances getting to line up and race against top tier athletes in the GHSA and other states?
I'd never raced so many wonderful athletes in one season, so lining up with them was a great opportunity and I was happy with the outcomes I was able to attain being pushed by them.
How did you finish at the GAPPS state championship?
I finished first in the division 2 race.
If you had to pick: Track and Field or Cross Country, and why?
Track and Field. I enjoy the relays and pole vaulting!
How is the college recruiting process going, and what schools are you looking at?
Since I am only in tenth grade I haven't really had much of a recruiting process, but I think if I run in college I will be looking more into a Division III program.
Where are you going to college? If you have already committed, what made you choose them?
I actually haven't decided yet, but I will probably choose a school for its academics rather than a great running program.
Is there another track event you wish you were good at? What is appealing about it?
Hurdles have always interested me because they require a skill other than running, so if I had the opportunity I would love to be a hurdler.
What are some hobbies and interests you have outside of running?
In my free time, I really enjoy baking and reading
Who is your role model, and why?
A running role model would probably be my dad. He has been running since he was in tenth grade, and I look up to his dedication and love for the sport.
What is the best advice you have received?
When we give God the glory for our accomplishments, we receive the most joy.
What is your favorite pre-race snack, tradition, etc.?
Before a race, I usually eat toast with honey and half a peach.
If you could do a sport other than XC/Track, what sport would it be, and why?
I would like to compete in triathlon because as well as running I like to swim and bike.