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West Jordan Journal

Family affair: Hein following in brother’s footsteps on CHHS track team

May 06, 2024 01:18PM ● By Josh McFadden

Copper Hills track standout Zoe Hein, shown here in a relay race, is one of the state’s top performers in the 100-meter run and long jump. (Photo courtesy of Jason T. Strother,

Every sport offers different opportunities and challenges. When it comes to track and field, Copper Hills athlete Zoe Hein thinks it’s a pretty special thing to do as a high school student. 

Hein is a junior for the Grizzlies and one of the top performers on the team. She runs the 100- and 200-meter races and also participates in the long jump and relays. Head coach Garth Rushforth praises her for always giving her at all and providing crucial leadership on and away from the track. 

Likewise, Hein has nothing but positive things to say about the chance she has to run track and help her team. 

“The thing I love most about track and field is that the environment is unlike any other sport,” she said. “Teammates and coaches are always cheering you on, and once the adrenaline rush hits, I feel like I’m on top of the world. Even when I’m not running, I enjoy being around friends and peers.”

That feeling of closeness and support is a hallmark of Copper Hills track and field, Hein said. She’s also proud to be a part of a program that has produced excellent athletes over the years. Hein it the latest in a line of talented Grizzlies. 

“The best thing about being on the Copper Hills track team is knowing that my school has a long legacy of amazing athletes who have been able to run in college and set records,” she said. “They inspire me to work harder every day in order to achieve the accomplishments they’ve earned.”

Hein hasn’t been involved in competitive track and field for too long. In fact, it was just two years ago when she was a freshman that she picked up the sport. She has been a fast learner and is a natural talent. 

But if it hadn’t been for a family member, she might have never given track a shot. 

“I started track because my brother, Zeth Hein, did track in high school, and I always looked up to him, so it seemed like a great chance to follow his lead,” she said. 

Hein has been a big part of the Copper Hills team this season, and she’s hoping she plays a role in the team’s success as the season winds down and moves to the state championships. Her goals this season are lofty. 

“Some of my individual goals I plan to accomplish this season are to break 12 seconds in the 100-meter dash and to break the school record for the 200-meter dash and long jump,” she said. “My goals this season for the Copper Hills track team are for the team to place in regions and to collectively get better.”

Last season, the Grizzlies placed 12 on the girls side at the Class 6A state meet. Hein and her teammates are aiming to move up the standings this season. The state meet will be held at Brigham Young University, May 16–18. 

Though weather conditions can affect any outdoor sport—and springtime in Utah can offer a wide array of weather, such as wind, cold, rain and even snow—it can be especially troublesome in track. Running against a strong wind, for example, can be difficult. Doing the long jump in the rain is no easy feat. But Hein is confident in her abilities to perform well despite the external factors. 

“I’d say one of my greatest strengths is my ability to dial into the race no matter the obstacles (weather, head wind, etc.),” she said.

Throughout the season, Hein has been working on improving her abilities. As a junior, she has one year to go, so she’s already looking toward the future and ways she can even better contribute to the team. The sport provides numerous events for athletes to explore. Hein has specialized in the 100 and 200 as well as the long jump. This year, however, she has made it her goal to give some other events a try. 

“I’m hoping to diversify my track events and try new events I haven’t even thought about trying before,” she said. 

For Copper Hills to be a factor in the state meet, it will have to qualify as many athletes as possible in the Region 2 championships. Hein could be one to watch at state, though she knows the competition will be stiff, as many talented 6A athletes will be in the mix for medals. Last year, as a sophomore, Hein placed third at state with a top jump of 17 feet 5 inches. She was an inch and a half out of second place. She was also seventh in the 100 with a time of 12.54 seconds, just .04 seconds behind sixth place and .1 seconds behind fifth place. 

Though she still has another year left in high school, Hein is already thinking about her post-Copper Hills plans. She intends on continuing her track career by competing at the next level. 

Hein is also humble and credits her accomplishments to many people. She expressed gratitude to a variety of individuals, each of whom have shaped her career in some way. 

“My mentors have been Zeth Hein, Baylee Beck (teammate at Copper Hills), Mitchell Brown and Garth Rushforth,” she said. “I credit my success to Brett and Camille Hein, my coaches and Christian Sandoval from Total Athlete Training.”

With Hein coming back to the Grizzlies next season, Copper Hills should continue to be a team to watch in 6A.   λ