Heitkamp competed on two of the finest cross country teams in Centralia High School history. In 1971 he placed 20th at the IHSA state meet leading the Orphans to a second place finish, something unheard of for a team from this part of the state. In 1970 he placed 30th at the state meet helping the team to a sixth place trophy.
Leading up to the high state finishes, Heitkamp placed third in both the 1970 and 1971 South Seven conference meets as CHS captured team titles each year. CHS was also IHSA Sectional champions in
1971, as Heitkamp placed fifth and twelfth respectively.
On the track for Centralia High School in 1971 Heitkamp was half mile (now 800) champion at both the South-Seven conference and IHSA Sectional meets, running in 1:58.6 and 1:57.9 respectively.
Along with Ed Royal, Paul Reynolds and Charlie Simpson,
he set an Orphan Relay’s two mile relay record of 8:06.8. This was the third time in the nation for this event that season.
In 1972 Heitkamp teamed up with Paul Reynolds, Charlie Simpson, and
Stan Vannier to set a new Orphan Relay’s record in the two mile relay at 7:52.3. They later lowered the time to a school record 7:49.5. This record still stands today.
He also teamed with Vannier, Simpson and Ben Reynolds to set an Orphan Relay’s and CHS record in the distance medley relay at
10:32 (since eclipsed).
Heitkamp was the premier half miler in Southern Illinois for 1972. He first lowered his own CHS record to 1:56.6. This was also an Evers Field standard. At the South-Seven Conference meet he placed second by one tenth of a second. This came after a long delay due to a dispute in the previous event.
He made up for this loss by winning the IHSA District (now Sectional) in a time of 1:55.4.
At the state meet he had the misfortune of getting boxed in running the finals and finished eighth in a time of 1:55.7. Prior to the finals he set a new CHS record of 1:53.7 in the preliminary qualifying race. This record stood until 1999.
The Evansville Currier listed Heitkamp with the fastest mile time in Southern Illinois for the full eleven weeks of the season.
Heitkamp went to the University of Missouri on
a track scholarship.