Boys Track and Field: Lincoln-Way East’s Austin Corydon hurdling toward big finish
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media May 15, 2014 8:28PM
Austin Corydon, of Lincoln-Way East. | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 17, 2014 2:37PM
A year ago, after his state meet prelim in the 110-meter hurdles, Lincoln-Way East’s Austin Corydon didn’t know for a while if he made the finals.
When Corydon found out he earned the last qualifying spot for the Class 3A race, he had to wait even longer to celebrate.
“I was really happy. I had to sleep that night while other guys were having fun,’’ Corydon said.
Postponing the “fun’’ until after the state finals will be the plan again this season for the soft-spoken senior, whose first state meet experience was a little unsettling.
“I didn’t know if I was going to make it,’’ Corydon said. “I was the ninth seed, so I just made it.’’
Corydon then outdid three runners who had better qualifying times and raced to sixth place (14.67 seconds) in the event won by Providence’s Andrew Helmin (13.99), now at Notre Dame.
Helmin and Corydon first knew one another from attending Hickory Creek Middle School in Frankfort. Helmin had some calming advice for the first-time state finalist.
“He just said ‘Take your time’ because they wait a while in the blocks,’’ Corydon said.
Corydon has spent a lot of time on the hurdles, all the way back to sixth grade at Hickory Creek.
“I was pretty good, so I just kept doing it,’’ he said. “I was one of the best on the sixth-grade team. I didn’t really have the coaching until high school.’’
Sprint and hurdles coach Darrell Green has been at East the past two seasons.
“Austin’s freshman and sophomore year, we knew he had the talent,’’ East head coach Ross Widinski said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t have the proper coaching for him. We were able to get Darrell, and Austin had someone to teach him proper technique and maximize his ability.’’
“In high school I learned how to three-step, which made me go a lot faster,’’ Corydon said.
Now he’s working on improving his arm technique, something he hears about from a family member.
“My grandpa used to run hurdles in high school,’’ Corydon said. “He comes to the meets sometimes, tells me to fix my arms.’’
Corydon’s outdoor best this year is 14.51 from the April 19 Ottawa Invitational. His goal is the low 14s at state.
“We’re preparing him to hopefully come between first and third in the state finals,’’ Reed said.
“He’s a very mature athlete, a very mature kid, academically solid. He won’t buckle under pressure.’’
“The guys that are up there,’’ Corydon said, “I want to be up there with them.’’