A large board affixed to the side of the press box at Augusta Christian Schools' football stadium holds the school's track and field records. Lions junior Fred Auston sees it every day.
"I look at the 110 hurdles and that triple jump," he said. "When we run bleachers you can't help but see it."
Auston hopes the board will soon need some adjusting. The Augusta Christian junior is hot on the heels of a school record in the 110-meter hurdles.
He's already earned a SCISA Class AAA state championship with last year's time of 16.25 seconds at the SCISA state meet; however, that's still a full 1.16 seconds behind the school record set by alumnus Joel Whingter.
"He's got his goals set," Augusta Christian track coach Charles Cooper said. "I expect a lot out of him. I don't see anyone beating him in SCISA."
Auston hasn't always been one of the top hurdlers in school history. He recalled his freshman year when he dreamed of breaking school records but instead just broke the skin on his knees.
"If you would have seen me my freshman year you would have laughed," he said. "My technique was horrible. My first meet I hit every hurdle with my knee."
Cooper remembered that first meet with a smile.
"It was pretty ugly," he said. "He would just flop over the hurdles."
Fortunately for Auston, there was an upperclassman by the name of Howard Walls. A senior when Auston was a freshman, Walls mentored the younger and less experienced athletes on the track team.
"Howard taught him how to hurdle. He really took him under his wing," Cooper said.
Walls has moved on to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., where the sophomore holds the school record in the 60-meter hurdles and recently reached the semifinals in the NAIA Indoor Nationals.
Auston has taken over Walls' spot at Augusta Christian as the school's top boys track athlete.
Along with the state title in the 110-meter hurdles, Auston placed in the top five in three other events at last season's SCISA state meet.
The numbers are even more impressive considering his stance on the sport.
"My favorite is basketball. That's my heart," he said. "Track is right there below it."
That attitude comes from his mother, Sonya Auston, who played college basketball in Nebraska. Fred Auston said his mom attends all his basketball games.
She watched this season as her son led the Lions in five different statistical categories including points per game (14.2), rebounds per game (6.6) and field goal percentage (55.9 percent).
For most athletes, such talent in two different sports might pose a problem when it comes to making a decision on college.
Auston already has his mind made up on what he's looking for.
"I could go for either one," he said, "as long as I can study to be a neurosurgeon."
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