Great Neck North High recent grad Austyn Durham will be heading off to the next chapter of her life at Bryan College, leaving her mark on the community through her accomplishments in track and field and softball. At 8 years old, Durham began her softball career when she was looking for a way to spend some time outside. This summer hobby became an integral part of Durham’s life for years to come and is now a benchmark of who she is.
Bryan College is extremely lucky to have Durham as part of its women’s softball team. Her records on the track and field and softball teams are hard to beat. She earned five Nassau County titles in the weight throw, shot put and discus throw as a member of the track team.
Durham’s successes on the track team do not go unmatched to her accomplishments on the softball team. This year, sports fans watched with glee as Durham achieved home run after home run. She finished with 12 home runs as sixth on the New York State All Time Home Run list and .850 batting average. Durham’s major accomplishments in sports have been an integral part of her high school career and will lead the way to her focus in college, where she will go on to study sports health while participating on the softball team.
As Durham’s high school days came to a close, she recalled the effect playing sports has had on her over the past few years. The sports star transferred to Great Neck North High School her sophomore year and was able to immerse herself in the school community quickly and easily because of the ties she made on her sports teams.
Being an athlete has allowed Durham to become more involved in school and in her community. For many students, playing on a sports team is the first step to being an integral part of their community by giving them the chance to be out and exploring their town every day.
Aside from her busy schedule, Durham gives private softball lessons, bringing her expertise to the younger generations of players.
“I discovered my love for coaching and hope to one day coach at the collegiate level,” said Durham of this experience.
Unafraid to aim high, another one of Durham’s goals is to become an All-American Athlete. Her ability to set ambitious goals for herself has allowed her to really succeed as an athlete and student. She will never forget the amazing opportunities she had at Great Neck North and is grateful.
“I will always be gracious to my coaches for letting me play two sports in one season, because it was just as hard for them as it was for me,” she said. “I also will always be thankful to my family for always being supportive of me and allowing me to pursue sports so intensely.”
As Durham gets ready to head off to college, her school and coaches have been supportive and excited for her future, but will miss her presence on and off the field. The mark she left as a dedicated and successful athlete will remain as she goes on to pursue the next chapter of her life.