8:43.40!!! Hindman smashes MO State Record, posts US#2 taking 2nd in Arcadia 3200m
Lafayette High School senior Austin Hindman (pronounced H-eye-ndmin) traveled to California to compete on April 8, 2017 in the 50th Arcadia Invitational, the premier high school regular season track and field meet in the country. Hindman’s goal: to break the Missouri high school all-time records of Joe Falcon and Matt Tegenkamp in the 3200-meters.
Falcon a senior at Belton High School in 1984, set the overall state record with his 8:53.44 in a time trial with post collegians in June 1984 in the Kansas City area. Tegenkamp, running for the same man who coached Falcon, Dave Denny, ran 8:53.79 as a senior for Lee’s Summit High School at the Golden West Invitational in California in June 2000. His mark stood as the high school only competition state record. Hindman’s goal was to better their mark, and if he couldn’t do that, he at least wanted to join the elite list of Missourians who’ve broken the 9-minute barrier for 3200-meters.
In the premier event at the nation’s top high school track meet, Hindman bided his time. In the 33-man field in the Invitational section of the 3200-meters, Hindman ran in about 20th place the first three laps. In a race that traditionally negative splits, with the second half being faster than the first, Hindman appeared to be in 17th at 1600-meters, crossing the half-way point in a quick 4:27, under sub-9-minute pace. Hindman slowly made his way through the field, avoiding a runner who fell to the track. With two laps to go Hindman was up to 12th.
Hindman crossed the line for the bell lap sitting in eighth-place, but not for long. He kicked it into high gear. He blasted around the turn and shot down the back straightaway, leaving his competitors in the dust. He passed one runner, then another, then two more and another. He passed a sixth runner in the 210-meters since the bell. He was suddenly in second place, having run the penultimate 200-meters in 29.02 seconds and having passed two-time Nike Cross Nationals champion Casey Clinger, who had run a 4:02 1600m leg in a relay the day before.
Hindman kept the wheels turning and flew down the homestretch. Too far behind to catch winner Cooper Teare, but he closed the final 200-meters faster than the previous 200, in an astonishing 28.61. He crossed the finish line. 8:43.40!!! Hindman hadn’t just bettered the 8:53 3200-meter Missouri High School state record, he had smashed it. By TEN SECONDS! Hindman had taken second at the year’s most competitive 3200m/2-mile race in the country, recording the second fastest time in the country this season, and running the meet’s fourth fastest time ever. His final 800-meters: 2:02.16. His final 400-meters: 57.63! Hindman improved on his personal record by 20 seconds from his May 2016 state championship time of 9:03. Hindman’s time converts to a 8:46.40 2-mile clocking, just three seconds away from the 10th fastest time for an American high schooler.
Two days later back at Lafayette High School in Wildwood, Mo. Hindman, the 2016 World Junior Champion in the Triathlon, talked about how it felt to set the state record and run so fast. “It’s amazing. That’s a lot of hard work, a lot of years of hard work all coming together on the right day. I couldn’t be happier with it. Going in my goal was to set the state record, and not only did I do that, but I ran 10 seconds faster. I really couldn’t ask for anything more. I’m just so happy with how it went”.
Was 8:43 even in Hindman’s dreams as a possibility? “I don’t know about 8:43, sub 8:50, I was kind of thinking if I have a really really good day, 8:50 is kind of where I think I could be. But I mean, I kind of caught myself a little bit off guard to be honest. 8:43, I mean, it’s still hard for me to wrap my mind around. It’s a 20-second PR (personal record).”
Hindman talked about what it’s like to put himself among the country’s best like Teara and Clinger. “It’s awesome really. Those are all guys I have a lot of respect for, that have had a lot of national attention and been on the national stage for years now. To be able to put my name up there as well, it’s really cool. It’s just unbelievable. It’s been a dream of mine since day one, (when I) walked in freshman year. To be able to achieve it is pretty great.”
Hindman also talked about bettering the marks of two guys who went on to be world class runners in Joe Falcon, a multiple time NCAA Champion and fifth on the All-time US mile list with a 3:49, and Matt Tegenkamp, a two-tme Olympian, the American record holder in the two-mile in 8:07 and fifth on the US 5k list with a 12:58. Hindman said, “It’s crazy to think about. They’re guys who had a lot of success, not only at the high school level but collegiate and professionally, so to be able to break a record they set boosts (my) confidence for sure. It’s really an honor to have my name up with guys like them.”
Hindman talked about how the last half of the race played out. “I went through the first mile in 4:26, 4:27. I was watching the clock a little but, trying not to pay too much attention and just focus on the race. I saw 4:26 and I was just kind of thinking to myself ‘Alright, I’m in a good spot, I should hang on.’ Moving into 1200 (meters), I just started to work my way up through the field, I was pretty far back with a mile to go. I just tried to start getting more towards the front, getting ready for that final push. 800 to go I kept moving up, just trying to pick guys off one by one. That’s really when the pace started to get jacked up.
“400 to go, I think I was in 8th and just kind of shot around the first turn, trying to move up and… I think halfway through the back 100 meter stretch I moved into third and saw Casey, the back of Casey Clinger and Cooper Teare, and I was just thinking to myself ‘This is it, this is everything I got, time to throw down.’ I had been preparing for that, that last 400, that’s really what I’ve been thinking about every speed workout I’ve done leading up to it. I hit the 200 and passed Casey and was throwing everything I had at it, full gas. Then crossed the line, looked at the clock, 8:43, I was like, ‘Holy Crap, what just happened.’ It was cool, it was a really awesome experience.”
Hindman also talked about avoiding Omaha, Ne. NXN and Foot Locker All-American Seth Hirsch who is the runner who got tripped up and took a spill, costing him a chance for a sub 8:50 performance. Hindman said it was a wake-up call to see Hirsch go down and avoid him. “Definitely. It was such a stacked field, and there were so many guys, 33 guys, it was a pack for most of the race. When I saw him fall it was kind of a nice reminder to keep my eyes up and make sure I’m watching where I’m going, cause If you fall down in a race it can be game over, so I just didn’t want to take a chance of that happening.”
While Hindman and his teammates have put themselves on the national stage before with their nationally ranked 2015 cross country team and their US#8 2016 4×800 squad, Hindman came up just short of the individual national stage last fall when he just missed qualifying for Nike Cross Nationals. Hindman took sixth at the 2016 Nike Midwest Regional last November, missing a trip to nationals by one spot and 2-seconds. His attempt a few weeks later for Foot Locker Nationals also came up short at the Midwest Regional where he was 27th, 17 spots away from a trip to Nationals.
Those disappointments drove Hindman to put in the work for his final high school track season. “Yeah, it’s definitely motivation. Sometimes I think the bad races motivate you more than the good ones. After Nike I was disappointed because I was so close, less than a second away from making NXN (Nike Cross Nationals). Then after Foot Locker, I had been going for so long, (I) just didn’t have the best race. After that, really my mindset going into track was that I wanted to finish on a better note than (the finish) at Foot Locker regionals. It was definitely a lot of motivation, just wanting to have a great track season and hopefully set the state record. A lot of my winter training was fueled by those two races.”
With his performance, Hindman’s received a lot of attention from family, friends, and fans on social media and was interviewed by Dyestat.com. It’s safe to say he’s enjoyed the attention. “It’s awesome. It’s great to get some national attention with Dyestat and all those things, and family and friends, obviously congratulating me. Twitter was going crazy…you know it’s awesome. I really appreciate everyone that is talking about it and reaching out. The whole experience is really special and it’s kind of a once in a lifetime thing. It’s just been amazing…”
Hindman says his Arcadia record-breaking performance ranks atop his list of individual running achievements. “Yeah, I’d say so. Yeah, it was unbelievable. Both from a time wise and from the experience I had from the race. It was amazing. There were so many people watching and the crowd was going crazy. Running in a meet as big and nationally known as Arcadia was really really cool. I would say for running and my individual success it would rank number one. It was awesome.”
Hindman was at the meet with his father Jeff and his coach Sean O’Connor. Asked what it was like when he saw them after the race, Hindman said, “…I think all three of us were a little bit at a loss of words, we were a little bit in shock, nobody knew what happened. OC (Coach O’Connor) jumped over the fence and gave me a big hug and was super excited. My dad cried. I think I got OC to shed a few tears. It was awesome.”
The performance and experience will have kept Hindman on a high for a while, but when he comes back to earth, where does he go from here? “Now it’s just focusing on state, (that’s) just what’s going through my mind and get ready as the best I can in as many events as possible. You know I still don’t know what I’m going to try and do yet as far as events go. We’ll see I guess, just getting ready for state now.”
Head cross country coach and assistant track coach Sean O’Connor and Head Track and Field coach and assistant cross country coach Matt Warren were asked about Hindman’s performance. O’ Connor talked about how the race played out. “We had talked about going more towards the front because historically the race goes out 4:30 low maybe, so then about 200-meters in and he’s towards the back, (I was) like what the heck? And then when they split 65 or whatever it was on the first lap, I was like ‘Oh, that makes sense, that was way faster than we anticipated.’ It strung out and I just watched the race.”
O’ Connor had a great tweet minutes after the race. “Well that school record should stand for a while! Wow!!”
O’ Connor also talked about how his nerves were as the race played out, “You know like any race there are ups and downs. There are some points where I’m like, ‘cool.’ Probably the first half or so I was like ‘Man this thing is moving still. He’s not slow and he’s still towards the back.’ You could tell it strung out pretty good, so it was going at a pretty honest pace. He starts moving up and I’m like ‘Okay, cool this is good.’ And he took off with like 500 (meters) left and it was like ‘wow, that was a big move.’ And then you seem him at 300 left and I’m like, ‘He might be able to catch that guy’. Then you see him at 200 left and I’m like ‘Holy Crap, he’s moving.’ Last 100 meters I look at the clock and it’s says like 8:30, with a 100-meters left, I’m like ‘Holy Crap, he’s going to run in the 8:40’s. That’s pretty impressive.’”
Did O’ Connor think sub 8:50 or even 8:43 was possible? “Sub 8:50 yes. It’s hard to tell. Obviously, he’s really talented and it’s a stacked field on a perfect day, so you never know 100 percent what to expect. I definitely thought sub 8:50 was possible, I didn’t know how far under, 8:43 is pretty impressive. I didn’t expect that far down. But, I’m not going to complain”, O’ Connor said laughing.
Coach Warren talked about what it was like watching Austin at Arcadia from home. “I was excited like a kid watching on my couch online. Kind of like Coach O’Connor said, watching him and seeing him in the back and not being there live and seeing the clock I was ‘Uh Oh, he’s boxed in, he’s boxed in. Get out Austin.’ As I saw the mile time when he came through I was like ‘Holy Cow, they are moving.’ You could see him cause he’s tall, you could see his head in the back. Watching him make his move and after seeing how it played out, I kind of looked back and go ‘Wow, that was a beautifully tactical race that they played out.’ I think it helps because he’s been in some big races before. He probably had the calmness of mind to run it and see where he was at and he’s a very smart racer. It was awfully exciting.”
When asked about what it was like at the meet and if this ranks as his top moment individually with an athlete, O’ Connor said, “Oh yeah, It was indescribable. He’s running the last 100 and I almost jumped the fence and ran on the track there. I thought that would have been a bad idea because there was still a race going. No, I was running around like a moron, it was pretty exciting.”
O’ Connor and Warren have seen Hindman for nearly four years now, working with him day after day and shared what traits he possess that make him successful and that they want their other athletes to pick up on. Warren said, “One thing that sticks out to me, just about him as a person, is he is very genuine and humble. With all the accolades and all the talent and the future that looks so bright, you’d never know it. He doesn’t’ walk around with any kind of arrogance or anything like that. I think the other kids really respect him, not only for his abilities, but just for the type of person he is. The way he cares for the other kids, whether they are the slowest kids on the team or his other varsity peers. That’s the one thing that sticks out to me.”
Warren loves the fact that his team’s best athlete has those traits and is a role model for everyone else. “Yeah absolutely. We try to carry ourself in a certain way. Respect our competition and work hard and do all the right things. He embodies that and we’re just really fortunate to kind of have him as the face of the group right now.”
O’ Connor talked about the trait he sees most important to Hindman’s success. “I would say resiliency. I think that’s really important, especially in this sport in general. That he can model that for the kids and it’s helped him a lot. At some point you are going to get hurt. You try to minimize it as much as possible. And you do everything you can, but you are beating the mess out of yourself on a daily basis, it’s going to happen.”
“The resiliency to go through those times and come back better and strong and keep plugging away… running is a grind. He does triathlons too. You’re not just running, it’s swimming and biking. All of that is a grind. Do all of that every day. For me that is the most important character trait that I wish people would pick up from, because it’s a grind. It’s tough. You have to be resilient to keep your nose down and keep working hard.”
Hindman has plans to become a World Class athlete like Joe Falcon and Matt Tegenkamp, just not on the track. Hindman hopes to make it to the 2020 Olympics in the triathlon, and if you don’t see him, there, bet on seeing him in 2024. But no matter what the future holds for Hindman, whether he stays healthy and goes on to greatness or never competes in another race again, there’s no doubt at Arcadia, Hindman posted one of the greatest performances in Missouri high school track and field history. He can take pride in an accomplishment few have achieved. His effort stands among the great Missouri All-time performances like Chris Nilsen’s national pole vault record and Sophia Rivera’s All-time US#2 mark in the javelin from last year. It also puts him ahead of every great distance runner in Missouri prep history. His performance will be one Missouri track and field fans won’t forget about for a long time.
Results: Nine men broke 8:50 in the field of 33
Event 34 Men 3200 M Run Invitational
Name Year School Finals
1 Cooper Teare 12 St. Joseph-Nd 8:41.46
1:03.364 (1:03.364) 2:11.246 (1:07.882) 3:17.552 (1:06.306)
4:24.692 (1:07.141) 5:32.284 (1:07.592) 6:38.966 (1:06.682)
7:43.747 (1:04.782) 8:13.367 (29.620)
2 Austin Hindman 12 Lafayette (W 8:43.40
1:05.549 (1:05.549) 2:13.317 (1:07.768) 3:20.141 (1:06.825)
4:27.145 (1:07.004) 5:34.153 (1:07.009) 6:41.241 (1:07.088)
7:45.769 (1:04.528) 8:14.787 (29.019)
3 Casey Clinger 12 American Fork 8:44.70
1:04.851 (1:04.851) 2:12.873 (1:08.023) 3:19.121 (1:06.249)
4:25.526 (1:06.405) 5:32.656 (1:07.130) 6:39.511 (1:06.856)
7:44.429 (1:04.918) 8:14.442 (30.013)
4 Callum Bolger 12 San Luis Obispo 8:45.10
1:04.831 (1:04.831) 2:12.755 (1:07.925) 3:19.528 (1:06.774)
4:25.839 (1:06.311) 5:33.122 (1:07.284) 6:39.694 (1:06.573)
7:45.211 (1:05.517) 8:16.053 (30.842)
5 Luis Grijalva 12 Armijo 8:45.58
1:03.991 (1:03.991) 2:11.811 (1:07.820) 3:18.393 (1:06.582)
4:25.783 (1:07.391) 5:33.161 (1:07.379) 6:40.641 (1:07.480)
7:45.113 (1:04.473) 8:15.390 (30.277)
6 Connor Lane 12 Cardinal Gibbons 8:47.00
1:04.593 (1:04.593) 2:12.272 (1:07.680) 3:18.635 (1:06.363)
4:25.455 (1:06.820) 5:32.374 (1:06.919) 6:39.225 (1:06.851)
7:44.769 (1:05.545) 8:15.746 (30.977)
7 Finn Gessner 12 Madison LaFollette 8:47.57
1:05.279 (1:05.279) 2:12.026 (1:06.748) 3:18.214 (1:06.188)
4:25.213 (1:06.999) 5:32.853 (1:07.641) 6:37.907 (1:05.054)
7:44.153 (1:06.247) 8:16.169 (32.017)
8 Talon Hull 12 Weber 8:48.44
1:05.576 (1:05.576) 2:13.987 (1:08.411) 3:21.417 (1:07.430)
4:28.701 (1:07.285) 5:35.849 (1:07.149) 6:44.262 (1:08.413)
7:49.450 (1:05.189) 8:20.003 (30.553)
9 Mathew Watkins 12 Jackson – WA 8:48.84
1:06.071 (1:06.071) 2:13.592 (1:07.522) 3:19.943 (1:06.351)
4:26.276 (1:06.334) 5:33.321 (1:07.045) 6:40.412 (1:07.091)
7:45.530 (1:05.119) 8:17.443 (31.914)
Missouri Boys All-time Sub 9-minute 3200m/2-mile list
Year Name Grade School Meet Time
2017 Austin Hindman Sr Lafayette Arcadia Inv 8:43.40
1984 Joe Falcon Sr Belton Time Trial 8:53.44!
2000 Matt Tegenkamp Sr Lee’s Summit Golden West 8:53.79
1985 Chris Borsa Sr CBC Mehlville 8:54.34!
2013 Noah Kauppila Jr Marquette Arcadia Inv 8:54.45
2010 Maksim Korolev Sr Harrisonville Midwest Distance Gala 8:55.96*
2007 Josh Mathis Sr Potosi Nike Outdoor Nationals 8:57.06#
2000 Matt Tegenkamp Sr Lee’s Summit State Meet 8:57.23
2014 Stephen Mugeche Jr Blue Springs Arcadia Inv 8:58.87
2015 Devin Meyrer Sr Lafayette Arcadia Inv 8:59.17
2001 Jason Sandfort Sr West Plain Golden West 9:00.13
2014 Noah Kauppila Sr Marquette Arcadia Inv DNF%
! converted from hand time by adding .14 seconds
*Enroute to 8:58.85 2-mile
#Converted from 9:00.16 2-Mile
% Kauppila was on his way to second sub 9 performance and probably the state record before being stepped on, losing a shoe, and ultimately stepping off the track on lap 6 with foot pain.
Austin Sr Season Goals, Life without the FabFour
Meet Home: http://www.arcadiainvitational.org/