Onalaska High School grad Austin Glynn was named the 2016-17 Gatorade Wisconsin Boy’s Track and Field Athlete of the year.
The 6 foot 9, 230-pound University of Oregon track-and-field commit is the first Onalaska student to receive the award.
“It’s pretty surprising for me because there’s a lot of really good track and field athletes in the state of Wisconsin,” Glynn said. “Being named number one is surreal.”
Glynn, a thrower, thanked his parents, family, and coaches for all the support throughout the process.
“I’ve been blessed with really good coaches and not a lot of people have all of the resources that I’ve had,” he said, adding that the award, which was announced late June, is “still hard to comprehend” for him.
Glynn won the shot put and took second place in the discus at the June Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletics Association State track and field championships meet.
The 62-foot shot-put throw won him state, a personal record of his, was the 40th best in the nation last year. His PR discus throw of 209 feet 9 inches, which he also marked this year, was the sixth best in the nation.
Part of winning this award means Glynn can now choose a national or local youth organization to receive a $1,000 grant through Gatorade’s Play It Forward program.
Glynn said last week that he plans to give the money to the La Crosse Area YMCA, which he said helped provide scholarship memberships for all his five siblings.
Glynn also has a chance to win the YMCA $10,000 through an essay contest, also sponsored by Gatorade. His 1000-character essay, which he qualified for upon winning this award, was about how the YMCA helped his family and helps the community at large.
On his chances of winning the essay contest, Glynn said, “I’m not the best writer, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be up there, because the YMCA helps a lot of people in general.”
Every year for the past 32, Gatorade has awarded two students from each state, (one male, one female), based on excellent athletic feats, high academic standards and strong character on and off the track.
Glynn graduated with a 3.17 GPA, and has participated in community service initiatives through his youth church group.
Glynn will begin his athletic scholarship at the University of Oregon this fall, and said he’s “really excited” to be a part of the team.