by linda frabl | photos by Soul of Photography

Champion Cyclist

Jan Heinz, a 10-year-old Encinitas resident, isn’t afraid to push his body to the limit. An avid cyclist, last year he won third place at the Cyclocross State Championship, and he also competed in the 25k MTB (mountain biking) race in Utah. In addition to cycling, Jan is also quite the runner, and was the youngest participant in the 2013 cross country season at Diegueno Middle School. He has also played three years of competitive soccer with the Encinitas Express, and is even a fervent gymnast. As for the latter, Jan boasted, “I am really good at gymnastics, and I can stand on my hands for a long time!”

Aside from performing amazing physical feats, Jan is also worldly and wise. The son of two German-born parents, he is fluent in both German and English, and has already shown an affinity for math. Jan admitted, “Math is my favorite subject in school because I am good at it and I like solving math problems.”

A 4th grader at the Phoenix Learning Center, Jan thrives in his educational setting. He proclaimed, “I love that my school is small and everybody knows everybody. I also love the teachers, the project-oriented work and the fact that we have home schooling every Friday.” An excellent pupil, Jan has already won two student awards for his outstanding scholarly behavior.

You may recall hearing that Jan’s father, Udo Heinz, tragically died in a cycling accident last summer after a bus collided into him at Camp Pendleton. Though his loss is devastating, Udo’s passions live on in his son. Jan admitted, “I got involved in cycling through my parents, who both ride and race bikes. My dad rode with me a lot and showed me everything. When I grow up, I want to be an engineer like my dad was . . . or maybe a professional athlete.”

In the meantime, Jan is content to enjoy his healthy outdoor activities while living with his mom and 7-year-old sister, Mia, in his beloved Encinitas. He added, “I have lived here all my life and I like being close to the beach, having many parks, and having a lot of other children to play with.” Whether he is cycling, running, hitting a soccer ball or even standing on his hands, we know that Jan will continue to put his heart into everything he does.

Meet Jan

Name: Jan Conrad Heinz (10)
School: Phoenix Learning Center in Encinitas
Grade: 4
Parents: Mother – Antje Heinz; Late Father – Udo Heinz
Sibling: Sister – Mia Caroline Heinz (7)
Favorite Place in 92024: Cardiff State Beach and campground, also my neighborhood Summerhill Dr.