By Brad Spencer
Recent OPRF High School graduate Carl Heinz was selected the 2011-12 Gatorade Illinois Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
Heinz captured his second straight Class 3A State high jump title his senior year with a leap of 7-feet-1-inch. He also finished fifth in the triple jump and helped lead the Huskies to a third place finish overall.
"Carl epitomizes the role of competitor," said OPRF high jump coach Danielle Dobias. "He has consistently achieved athletic excellence. It's hard to imagine how high and far he will go."
The award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track. Heinz, who maintained a 4.34 grade-point average, will compete for Duke next season. He's now a finalist for the Gatorade National Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year Award.
Heinz cleared 7-1 twice during the season, a mark that tied him for No. 1 in the nation among high school high jumpers.