Charles Austin

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Raised in Van Vleck, Texas, Austin was the youngest of 10 children. He was a senior in high school without any way to pay for college, when some friends convinced him to try high jumping for the track team. He cleared six feet on his first try to make the team and finished the year with a personal best of 6′ 11″.

Austin’s success landed him an athletic scholarship at Southwest Texas University (now Texas State University). After a difficult first few years, he climbed the ranks in the NCAA, shattering school records and his senior year, won the NCAA Outdoor Championship and was the number one college high jumper in the country.

Olympian Austin wins USA Track and Field Athlete of the Week after setting World Record

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INDIANAPOLIS — Charles Austin, the 1996 Atlanta Olympic high jump champion, has been named USATF’s Athlete of the Week. The USATF Hall of Famer cleared a world-record 2.05 meters/6-8.75 in the Master’s 45 Division at the South Texas USATF Association meet Saturday, June 21, in San Marcos, Texas.
The mark tops the world record of 2.04m/6-8.25 held by Italy’s Marco Segatel in 2007. It also displaces the American record of 2.00m/6-6.75 by Bruce McBarnette in 2006, which was a world record at the time.
The three time Olympian (1992, 1996, 2000) is the current American high jump record holder with a 7-10.05 (1991) and current Olympic high jump record holder 7-10 (1996). Austin’s other accomplishments include a 1st place finish in his first World Outdoor Championships in 1991, 1st place in 2003 World Indoor Championships and 1st place in 2003 USA Indoor Championships,
Another top performer from this week was Justin Gatlin (Orlando, Florida), who ran a then-world-leading 9.86 in the 100 to win at the Ostrava IAAF World Challenge meet.
Now in its 13th year, USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on  Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
2014 Winners: January 15, Chris Derrick; January 22, Galen Rupp; January 29, Galen Rupp; February 5, Alexa Efraimson; February 12, Mike Rutt; Feb. 19, Bernard Lagat; Feb. 26,Sharon Day-Monroe; March 3, David Torrence; March 13, Francena McCorory; March 19, Irene Obera; March 26, Duane Solomon; April 2, Maria Michta; April 7, Noah Lyles; April 14, Kendell Williams; April 21, Meb Keflezighi; April 28, Kristi Castlin; May 7, Maria Michta; May 14, Erik Kynard; May 21, Emma Coburn; May 28, Brenda Martinez; June 2, Galen Rupp; June 9, Tori Bowie; June 16, Trayvon Bromell; May 23, Charles Austin.
USA Track & Field is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world’s oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the country’s No. 1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information on USATF, visit
Tyler Stevenson
Communications Intern

1996 Olympic gold medalist dazzles in front of fans at Texas State's Track and Field Complex

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 San Marcos Daily Record

Daily Record Sports

Charles Austin wasn’t worried when he hit the bar on his first two attempts at a Masters world record.

“I set the American record on my last jump,” Austin recalled. “I won the Olympics on my last jump. I won the World Championships on my last jump. So pressure doesn’t bother me. It causes me to focus a little bit more. Once I dial it in, it’s no problem.”

Maybe Austin just wanted to add more drama to the event.

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