Carson’s Heilman running at Golden West Invitational |

Carson’s Heilman running at Golden West Invitational

Dave Price
Appeal Sports Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Josh Heilman gets to do some sprints on the Carson track on Friday.

In his quest to run faster times, Carson High’s Josh Heilman decided to work on the mental approach with the help of a book he picked up. And could there be a better teacher than Michael Johnson?

“I’ve started to write down how I want to run a race,” Heilman said, referring to a tip from Johnson, the world record holder in the 200- and 400-meter dashes. “That makes it a contract, so I do that before every race I run now. I set a goal of how fast I want to run … I want to explode out of the blocks, run smooth and relax, then win.”

Heilman just wrapped up a superb senior track and field season at Carson in which he had a hand in breaking three school records, and three weeks ago, he became the first Senator in recent memory to win the boys 100 at the state meet in Las Vegas. He ran a school and personal record 10.83 to win at the Northern 4A regionals, then ran 10.91 into a headwind to win at state and he wants to run even faster.

In fact, his goal for Sunday evening at the prestigious Golden West Invitational in Folsom, Calif., is a lofty 10.60 seconds.

“I’m looking forward to running against fast people again,” said Heilman, who will graduate with his senior class at Carson High tonight. “My goal is 10.60. But I’m not sure that’s going to be fast enough to win a race like this. There’s a guy coming from Colorado who has run 10.4 (Jeremy Dodson from Denver).”

To run a lifetime best time in a meet that attracts blue chip athletes from across the U.S. will be a victory in itself. The 10.60 goal appears to be within reach, too, because Heilman showed he still has some gas left in his tank after placed posted fifth-place finishes in the 100 and 200 at the Great Southwest Classic last Saturday night in Albuquerque, N.M. He ran a lifetime best 21.90 in the 200 and 10.93 in the 100.

However, Heilman was disappointed with his performance in the 100 and hopes to improve on that.

“I want to make up for that,” he said. “I didn’t run my first 30 meters to way I normally do. The guy won my heat in 10.66, but at the end, I was gaining on him.”

Heilman will be joined by a handful of local area athletes at the Golden West meet, including Galena’s Dan Geib and Alyssa Abbott, as well as Smith Valley pole vaulters Jordan Savidge, Sam Marshek and Kylee Gleason. Carson High’s Kayla Sanchez was also scheduled to compete, but had to withdraw due to a nagging injury from playing softball.

Heilman is scheduled to run his 100 at 7:19 p.m., Abbott is scheduled to run the girls 800 at 11 a.m., Geib will run the boys 3,200 at 8:15 p.m., Gleason will go in the girls pole vault at 11 a.m., Marshek’ pole vault flight will be at 2 p.m. and Savidge’s at 5. Reno High’s Mel Lawrence is scheduled to run the girls mile at 7:25 p.m.

The 5-foot-8, 150-pound Heilman plans to continue his running in college and will join Carson teammate Tilor Smith in the fall at Mt. San Antonio College in Southern California.

“I want to get a lot stronger,” Heilman said. “I improved my (100 time) by four-tenths from last year and I want to improve a lot more next year. My goal is to run 10.3 next year at Mt. SAC. I want to get faster the year after that and then transfer to USC. That’s my ultimate goal.”

n Contact Dave Price at or call 881-1220.