ALLIANCE, OH / ACCESSWIRE / September 4, 2020 / Anyone with experience coaching youth sports knows that one of the hardest things in the world is to get your team on the same page for game day. Nathan Heddleston has that experience, and more, as one of the very rare coaches in athletics history: someone who has tied for a national championship rather than won it outright. That makes Nathan Heddleston not just a coach of notoriety, but someone who understands what it takes to get all the way and make it to an outright victory.
Nathan Heddleston’s track and field team, the Division III Mount Union Purple Raiders, were far from a Cinderella team going into the 2019 National Championship track meet in Boston. After all, the Purple Raiders boasted two of the best track stars in DIII: Mason Plant and Connor Troyer, who had previously been a national champion and an All-American, respectively. Nathan Heddleston‘s 60-meter hurdle team was easily one of the best in the nation, and perhaps even the world.
Even so, what happened in Boston was surprising, to say the least. Plant and Troyer not only succeeded in coming out on top of the competition, but did so with the exact same time of 8.032 seconds, a margin so razor-thin that the technology used to capture their speed couldn’t differentiate one as faster than the other. In fact, it took the officials nearly an hour to sort out how to handle the situation, which had no NCAA precedent. As a result, Plant and Troyer were named co-National Champions, meaning that Nathan Heddleston coached not one but two champions that day.
It was not just a great moment for coach Nate Heddleston Alliance Ohio, but also for Troyer, who had missed nearly the entire 2018 season with a torn hamstring, a key injury that kept the Purple Raiders track team from achieving greater success. “I did absolutely nothing for seven months,” said Troyer, who not only won but also placed an all-Ohio Athletic Conference record, finishing the meet with a time of just 51.87 seconds.
It’s a testament to Nathan Heddleston’s coaching skills, since his record as a coach isn’t just defined by the Purple Raiders’ successes but also with his time coaching soccer. His understanding of how to build a winning team has paid off in a way that has never happened before, and it remains to be seen what other records he can break during his coaching career.
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SOURCE: Nathan Heddleston
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