Hackett Alum Reaches New Heights
By Christian Willis and Gabriel Oeurn
Heath Baldwin, Hackett alum of the class of 2019, has been named the 2022-2023 George Alderton male athlete of the year at Michigan State University. This prestigious award is given to the male athlete who has achieved the greatest athletic accomplishments.
In his years at Hackett, Heath juggled academics and athletics in every season. “I played football, basketball, baseball, and track at Hackett. I was busy at all times with practice after school every day then homework after.” Stress and anxiety often come with a busy schedule, but many student-athletes like Heath find that the positives outweigh the negatives. Handling these challenges is a skill best learned early, as Heath did at Hackett. “Learning how to have that constant sports and school balance while at Hackett helped prepare me for college and juggling traveling across the country for the track while also getting good grades in my classes.”
Heath dominated the track and field in high school, becoming an icon in the school’s track history. He was named 2019 Mr. Michigan Track & Field (MITCA), with being a five-time MHSAA Division 4 State Champion, nine-time MHSAA Division 4 top-five finisher, winning the 110-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles, and high jump state titles in 2019, engraving his name into Hackett’s track record board, and Heath Baldwin’s success is far from over.
Heath has furthered his career in college track and field by competing against other D1 athletes climbing up to eventually winning his first Big Ten Indoor Championships in the Men’s Heptathlon. As a Big Ten champion, his advice to any high school students who are looking to play sports in college is to “... train intentionally. Know what you want to work on going into each practice and pay attention to the little things you are doing at practice. If you can master the little things that you do every day (warmup, attitude, energy) they will add up over time and take you to another level.”
As such a successful athlete, there have been many obstacles he would have to overcome. As a freshman joining the University of Michigan’s Men’s track team, the biggest hurdle he had to jump would be the gap between him and the other older teammates/athletes. The way that he got over that hurdle and improved as an athlete and as a person was that he recognized where his goals were, and how he was going to achieve them, and had the confidence to actually believe in himself to succeed. Heath now has the goal to train professionally for the decathlon and make the world championship/Olympic team for the United States after college.
From a Hackett student-athlete to an extremely successful track star, Heath Baldwin embodies what most students aspire to become as an athlete.