By Greg Hall
The Missouri State High School Activities Association track official charged with corralling the runners immediately after they finished the Class 5 boys' 3200-meter race at the 2017 Missouri State Track and Field meet was perturbed - an almost perpetual state of being for her.
Even Mother Nature bowed to Austin Hindman's Dominance at 2017 State Track meet
The Congo line of eight All-State runners she had directed to form and proceed to the awards area on the infield was not moving at a hasty enough pace to clear the track.
"Get moving!" she barked.
When that direct order was ignored by the tall, blonde, sweat-soaked lad leading the sluggish parade, she summoned, even more, urgency from her diaphragm and bellowed, "Run!"
Austin Hindman (pronounced HIND-man as in KIND-man), the lanky lad out front who these orders were mostly directed, slowly turned his head back toward the other runners and said, "I'm done running tonight," he stated matter-of-factly as he continued his slow shuffle toward the football field. "I'm not running another step."
Considering Hindman had just completed arguably the greatest two-day performance by an individual in the storied history of the Missouri High School State Track and Field Meet, his preferred pace was warranted.
On the final weekend in May, Hindman captured the gold medal in the state's largest class in the 800 (1:55.00), 1600 (4:09.69), 3200 (8:54.92) and also ran the anchor leg for his Wildwood Lafayette Lancers to successfully defend their third 4x800 relay (7:53.90) crown in a row.
His weekend at State began on Friday with a comfortable nine-second win in the 1600. He followed that later that afternoon with a hard-fought win over Nixa's Blake Procell in the open 800. He had two of his four possible gold medals around his neck as the Lafayette team headed to dinner and then bed.
Saturday morning's first race, the boys' 4x800, was considered by many Hindman's most difficult task of the meet. His Lafayette 4x800 relay foursome consisted of Hindman and three state-rookie underclassmen to try and defend Lafayette's 2015 and 2016 4x800 titles.
In 2015, Hindman was one of Lafayette's Fab Four distance runners who are revered in Missouri for forming one of if not the greatest cross-country team in boys' State history. At the 2016 State track meet in the 4x800, Alec Haines, Devin Meyrer, Hindman and Dylan Quisenberry teamed to break the oldest record on the State books.