By Dylan DeWitt
Winning at the collegiate level is never an easy task and one that takes countless hours of hard work and dedication as a student athlete. Austin Combs, a highly recognized thrower throughout the indoor season, put another milestone to his name and the University of Findlay track and field program.
On Friday, March 9, Junior Austin Combs was crowned as the Division II National Champion in weight throw at the Indoor National Championship that was held this past weekend in Pittsburg, Kan.
The win did not come as a shock, but took Combs all six of his throws in competition in order to claim the title. Going into his final throw, sitting in fifth place after his fifth, and second to last, throw, Combs knew that he had one more chance to secure not only a top three medal spot on the podium, but the highest spot on the podium with a gold medal hanging down from his neck. After the final calculations, Combs edged out Alex Hill of Ashland University by .01m to find out he was victorious and an All- American National Champion.
Combs says that hearing the announcement of winning the event was one of the most memorable experiences of his athletic career.
“Being announced a national champion was the most memorable win of my life,” said Combs. “Throughout the season, my coach would remind me that it was possible to win the event even if I was having doubts, so to be able to stand up on the podium and have him hand me the trophy was one of the best feelings I have ever experienced.”
After becoming a National Champion, Combs knows that although the season of indoor is over, the outdoor championships are soon approaching. It is a goal of his to continue to take the steps necessary to move forward in getting better throughout the season as there is always room for improvements.
One may think that becoming a national champion at the Division II level would be a season, and perhaps even a career goal of a student-athlete. However, Austin Combs, a Findlay native, has set higher standards and goals to go reach. Even with one more season left to go in his already astonishing career stacked with multiple awards and a national champion title, Combs would love to be able to be an Olympian one day.
“Ultimately, I want to qualify for the USA track meet this summer, and throughout my career I hope to make my way to the Olympic trials and qualify as an Olympian,” said Combs.
The next Olympics is not until 2020, but, until then, Austin Combs is going to continue to showcase the spirit of being a student-athlete at the University of Findlay and work towards an outdoor championship title this upcoming spring season.