(Editor’s note: DCC Athletics release)
GLENDIVE – Standout distance runner Zach Austin from Miles City has signed to run cross country and distance track with Dawson Community College.
“I chose Dawson because I liked the campus when I went on my visit,” said Austin. “I really liked Coach Sandy and what he had to offer me, and this seems like a place where he can help me develop into a great distance runner so I can finish up my career at a 4 year college. Also, I like that Dawson is close to home.”
Austin qualified for the state meet in both the 1600 and 3200 meter races as a junior and is looking to do the same during his senior season. His best times so far are 4:41 for the mile, 10:27 for the 2 mile, and 17:26 for the 5K distance in cross country. Last year Custer County High School won the divisional meet and placed second at state.
“I am very pleased to have Zach join our team since he is considered a local, and I believe with Zach’s love of the sport and his dedication, he can certainly achieve his goals of becoming a great distance runner,” Sandy said. “I look forward to Zach being a great teammate, student, and motivator for our team.”
Austin earned “Most Improved Runner” his sophomore year and was awarded “Most Dedicated” his junior year. In addition to putting all he has into running he is a two time Academic All-State athlete with a 3.21 GPA.
Hailee Hunter of Worland, Wyoming, has also signed to run cross country and track at DCC.
“Having only run two years of cross country and track, Hailee’s personal best of 21:06 for the 5K distance demonstrates she still has a lot of untapped potential,” Sandy said. “I can tell she has what it takes to be an outstanding runner and student, and I am looking forward to working with her and helping her reach her goals.”
Hunter was also active elsewhere in high school serving as president of student council. She participated in state theater and drama, and was a member of the National Honor Society and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She is also a state champion gymnast and has competed at very high levels in gymnastics.
“I chose Dawson Community College because it is a small community and college, and I prefer that over a bigger community and college,” said Hunter. “Also, it is not too far a distance from Worland, my hometown, and I am still able to pursue my dream in running. While still being able to continue my career in running, I am also able to earn my Associate’s Degree in Elementary Education. The culture and environment at Dawson is welcoming and friendly, and one of the biggest things they focus on is being a community and helping out the community.”