Abby Claus and Chris Heckelman Honored as Summit High School Athletes of The Week

Credits: Madeleine Gramigna
Abby Claus Credits: Greg Elliott / TAPinto Summit
Chris Heckelman Credits: Greg Elliott / TAPinto Summit

SUMMIT, NJ - Senior Gymnast Abby Claus and senior Boys Cross Country runner Chris Heckelman have been named Summit High School Athletes of the Week, presented by TAP into Summit, for the week ending October 30.

Each week throughout the school athletic year, an athlete or athletes will be honored for distinguishing themselves in the arena of competition, in the classroom, and for demonstrating exemplary, Hilltopper-caliber sportsmanship and leadership qualities.

Team captain Claus led the Hilltoppers to their sixth victory of the season with a season high all-around 36.55, which was good for first place overall. She also won bars (9.125), floor (9.2) and was second on both vault (9.225) and beam (9.0). Earlier this month, Claus finished second All-Around in the Union County Championship, with a 35.55, the highest finish for a Summit gymnast in program history. Earlier this season, she set a new school record on Floor, scoring 9.425.  She also holds the school record for bars with a 9.35.  

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Claus has been a varsity all-around starter for her entire career at Summit, and is closing our her final season with a flourish. On September 30, she scored 35.3 points, which gave her sole possession of the school record for total points scored in a Summit career, which was previously held by Emily Donohue, class of 2016. Donohue scored 1,384.65 points in her four-year Hilltopper career, with Claus has scoring 1,606.775 points with at least two remaining meets.

Heckelman won the Union County Cross Country Championship October 26 in a thrilling battle with Union Catholic's Nate Papachristos. The two battled side-by-side and stride-for-stride from the opening gun for the entire 3.19 mile course. The race ended in a near tie, with meet officials declaring Heckelman the winner as he out-leaned a diving Papachristos.  

Heckelman's time of 15:53 is second-best all-time in Summit history, only behind Leland Jones's (Class of 2015) 15:49 from 2013. Heckelman's time is also fifth-fastest all-time in course history. Union County has been using the course for the past 28 years.

Heckelman is Summit's fourth overall County Champion, joining Stephen Hankinson (Class of 2007) in 2006, and Jones -- a double winner in 2013 and 2014.

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