*Story by David Wahl III
WILMINGTON, Ohio - From small town to the big stage, Simon Heys, a Wilmington local, heads off for the biggest race of his young career. After a second-place finish at the Great Lakes Regional Championships, Heys all but punched his ticket to Wilmington College's and head coach Ron Comb's first NCAA Division III national championship for a male athlete in cross country. Nationals will be hosted on a familiar course for Heys in Louisville, Kentucky. Tom Sawyer State Park was the host location where Heys won Pre-Nationals early in the season. The race will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Novemeber 20th.
Heys has come a long way in his career to get to where he is now. Two years removed from a 43rd-place finish at regionals in Grand Rapids, Michigan, his freshman year, Heys saw his place improve 41 spots and his time by over a minute. This season alone, he has acquired three first-place finishes and has never finished below top 20 in a race. On the season against other individual athletes, he has 1,323 wins and only 22 losses, meaning only 22 athletes have beat him throughout the entire season.
"Coming into Wilmington, I wanted to be the best version of myself I could be," says Heys when asked about what this weekend means to him. "I knew that it was something I really wanted to accomplish, I just had to keep working as hard as I could. It really means alot to be able to line up against the best NCAA Division III guys in the country and to put it out there is what racing is all about. You want to compete at your best with the best and just the opportunity to do that is insane."
Coverage: Live results and live video of the championships will be available - visit the links above.
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