Pepsi-Cola Student Athlete of the Week: George Austin III
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - George Austin III is a standout senior at East Rockingham High School.
In eighth grade, Austin started running to complement his basketball career. Two years later, he won the cross country Class 2A State Championship. His athletic focus quickly shifted from the basketball court to the track.
“Running has given me a lot of discipline and structure that apply to different aspects of my life,” Austin said.
However, elite athletes like Austin are often faced with the pressure of high expectations. In his junior year, Austin stepped away from the sport of running. However, he decided to relace his sneakers for his final season as an Eagle.
“Over time, I put a lot of pressure on myself. But when I didn’t run last year, I didn’t have that structure. Since I have started running again, things have been more stable,” Austin added.
In the classroom, Austin posts a 4.0 GPA and attends the Massanutten Regional Governors School. As a James Madison University Valley Scholar, he has the chance to use a full academic scholarship to attend JMU.
As cross country co-captain, Austin is working to lead his teammates to the Class 2A State Championship. Cross country head coach Debbie Swartley shared Austin’s impact on the Eagles.
When you’re around George, you want to do well because he’s successful and he inspires everyone around him,” said Swartley.
“George is a tremendous leader. He is the epitome of a student-athlete and a great young man,” added athletic director Eric Phillips.
Austin is currently exploring opportunities to pursue his academic and athletic pursuits at the college level. The local community will continue to follow Austin as he excels on and off the track at East Rockingham High School.
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