Ohio County Schools Student Profile: Wheeling Park High School’s Sarah Heilman
Wheeling Park High School swimmer Sarah Heilman was confident she would make a strong showing at the OVAC swimming competition.
In the end, she was flawless.
Heilman placed first in each of the four events in which she competed on Jan. 20 at Brooke High School. The Patriot junior was the individual champion in both the 100-yard butterfly and the 100-yard backstroke. Heilman also joined her teammates atop the podium following Patriot victories in the 200-medley relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay.
It was the third consecutive OVAC team championship for Wheeling Park High School. Heilman also repeated as OVAC champion in both of her individual events following an outstanding sophomore season. The young student athlete said the team victories are as important to her as her individual achievements.
“I’m super proud because we worked so hard,” Heilman said. “I was really happy for Abby (Turner) and the rest of our team. It was exciting… I was confident that I would do well, but there were new swimmers seeded ahead of me. I had to do my best. I’m hopeful for the rest of the season.”
Heilman isn’t just a swimmer. She’s also a member of Wheeling Park’s Girls Soccer Team. Heilman’s not only an athlete. She’s also an outstanding student. She maintains a 5.0 grade-point average and her favorite classes are English and mathematics.
“I like English because I really like to read,” Heilman said. “I like math because I’m really good at it.”
Heilman really likes her teachers. She lists Christine Dodd, Sara Hoffman, Susan Hvizdos and Kevin Orth as some of her favorites. Dodd said Heilman is a tremendous athlete, but she is also a standout scholar and individual.
“Sarah is an all-around wonderful person,” she said. “She is quiet, but she is a super student with a fantastic work ethic. Sarah is so focused. It is easy to see why she is so successful.”
Heilman now has her sights set on the West Virginia swimming championships that will be held Feb. 15-16 at West Virginia University. As a sophomore, Heilman claimed state titles in the 100-yard butterfly and the 200 medley relay. She hopes to repeat at the state level as she did in the OVAC competition, but she knows it will be a difficult challenge.
“I’m so nervous,” Heilman said. “I want to repeat. I know I have a good chance, but I know it won’t be easy. There is a lot of competition.”
Photo: Wheeling Park High School standout student athlete Sarah Heilman is shown taking a breather at practice in Wheeling Park’s pool.