Iowa track and field star Austin West grows his legend with a school record decathlon

Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 10:56 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Austin West was a standout at Iowa City West, and he’s already shattering the high expectations he set for himself.

At West High, Austin beat Iowa track and field coach Joey Woody’s 400 meter hurdlers record. After high school, he decided to join coach Woody and compete for the Hawkeyes.

Austin says he loves challenges, so he picked the decathlon in college.

“In high school I don’t even know if I could name the 10 events in the decathlon,” West said. “I just have a blast when I’m doing it. I don’t really think of it as being that grueling.”

It was a huge challenge for Austin, especially the pole vault, an event he had never done it before.

“It is my weakest event still,” West admitted. “It is pretty difficult to learn, but it is really fun to do so that kind of breaks the ice a little bit.”

After four years of hard work, dedication and trusting his coach, it is all coming together for West. He broke the school record California with 8,179 points, that was the 4th best in the world this year.

“It means a lot (to break the record). When I walked in my freshman year, I didn’t think my name would quite be (in the record book).” West said. “It’s just really special knowing the guys that we’ve had. They have helped me get to where I’m at so it is really special to me.”

“It is super impressive,” said Woody. “He is just a phenomenal competitor and he is just built to be a decathlete.”

The sky is the limit for Austin. He has the size, the speed and jumping ability to become an Olympian someday.

“That would be awesome but I’m really not thinking about anything like that right now,” he said. “We will take down nationals first and we will go for bigger stuff maybe down the road.”

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