Austin Padmore – Track
When Austin Padmore ’17 enrolled at Milton Hershey School in pre-kindergarten, it was the school’s elementary intramural sports that piqued his interest. Every Sunday, he played different sports with his peers—everything from kickball and soccer to baseball and football.
Throughout middle school, Austin took his interest in sports and joined the soccer and cross country teams. It wasn’t until his freshman year of high school that Austin discovered his passion for track and field.
“During my ninth-grade year, I felt confident but I found out I was good when I started my sophomore year,” he said. “Track started to help me with soccer and vice versa.”
Austin began running the 400- and 800-meter events and, during his senior year, helped his team win first place for the 4×400 relay at the district championships. Taking his discipline and momentum with him after graduation, Austin joined the track and field team at Shippensburg University.
“When I left MHS and went to college, it was overwhelming but MHS taught me a lot. The school taught me discipline,” he said. “At MHS, there weren’t any excuses for not going to practice. At Shippensburg, it’s also not acceptable to skip practices. I started to see myself standing out compared to everyone else because I practiced harder and longer.”
Austin’s work ethic paid off. During his freshman year at Shippensburg, he achieved a personal record of 1:51.03 for the 800-meter event and simultaneously beat the university’s all-time school record. He also was named the 2018 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Men’s Indoor Track and Field Freshman of the Year.
Amidst his impressive list of accomplishments, Austin continues to find room for improvement and joy in competition.
“This past spring, I actually got second in the 800. Next year, I’m going to run against the person I lost to and we both hit the national qualifying mark, so it’s good competition,” he explained. “I feel like he can push me to be in the top 20 so we can go to nationals.”
Ultimately, Austin attributes his success to his ability to push himself to be better than he was yesterday. “One of my biggest motivations is the feeling I get after winning, or doing better than I previously have.”
When asked what advice he would give to other athletes, Austin shared the following tips:
- Growth mindset—“Don’t make excuses. If you’re doing bad, accept it, learn from it and fix it. Don’t blame it on something else.”
- Nutrition—“Sports are about more than exercising and going to practice. You also have to eat right. Everything is important.”
- Humility—“Even if you’re the best at MHS, there are a lot of people out there who are better than you. Don’t get a big head.”
Austin is studying engineering at Shippensburg University and follows a strict training schedule during the off-season while maintaining his grades.
Many MHS Spartans go on to compete at a professional level in a variety of sports and credit MHS with teaching them the value of hard work, discipline and teamwork. Whether they’re setting records on the basketball court or playing in the Super Bowl, these dedicated athletes have earned Spartan success! Read their stories.