Spartanburg Sports Report

The Sky’s The Limit

When we are young parents often tell their kids that the sky is the limit but for three Boiling Springs track and field athletes that may very well be the case. If you were out to dinner and met the Heenehan family you wouldn’t notice anything different about them, they’re just another normal family except for two things: one they like to jump and two they are really good at it.

Seamus Heenehan, a senior at Boiling Springs is the current Region III-5A champion and school record holder in pole vault. Saben Heeneham, Seamus’ younger brother and a junior at Boiling Springs, is the current Region III-5A champion and school record holder in the boy’s high jump and if that wasn’t enough success for one family, their freshman sister Felicia Heenehan is the current Region III-5A champion in the girl’s high jump.

When asked about how the family’s success started in the track and field world, it was a desire to skip workouts in another sport that got the whole thing started. “Actually I never had a desire to do it but I didn’t want to go to spring basketball one year so I decided to try high jump because it didn’t have much running,” said Seamus, “The high jump coach didn’t show up for practice so I had a friend who was doing pole vault so I went to give it a try, I really enjoyed it and the rest is history.” When asked if Seamus’ participation in pole vault had anything to do with their desire to participate in track and field Saben and Felicia both said they went out to try pole vault but “it wasn’t for me.” For Seamus and Saben it’s not only a remarkable feat to both be region champions but for both to hold school records. “It feels pretty good to have a school record,” said Saben, “but to be able to share it with my brother that is pretty cool.”

With the success that the Heenehan children have experienced they say it’s the support of their parents that has really driven their success. “Our parents have always been very encouraging,” said Seamus, “They’ve never forced any of this on us but have always said that if it’s something that we want to do that we always had their full support.” When I asked the Heenehan’s mother, Lisa, what her response was when Seamus first told them he wanted to pole vault she said with a laugh, “I thought of course you would want to pick the most dangerous track event to do.” Lisa says that one of the things she is most proud of this year is seeing the bond that has developed between the kids, “I think the thing that I have enjoyed the most is seeing how they have all encouraged each other. The boys have really stepped up to help their younger sister and it’s something that you don’t always see with siblings especially now days.”

With the three children now sitting as Region III-5A champions, what does it mean to their parents to be able to see their three youngest children share this special moment, “To be able to see them succeed and to do it as a family and see those bonds grow it’s really special,” said their father Jim Heenehan. “They all do things that none of us could ever do and we’re just really proud of them and try to support them the best we can.”

On Saturday all three members of the Heenehan family will be participating in the 5A qualifier for a chance to participate in the state meet the following Saturday. When I asked what it’s like to have the three siblings all there competing together this Saturday Seamus said, “You normally have your teammates there that you cheer on but it’s going to be a little extra special cheering on your teammates and to have that also be your family member.”