Braham’s Austyn Eng became the latest in a string of area seniors this year to sign a Division II scholarship agreement when she agreed to attend Bemidji State University while competing on the Beavers’ cross country and track & field squads.
Coach Joe Rajkowski has worked with Eng since 7th grade in track and 8th grade in cross country.
“Austyn’s been ‘Most Valuable’ in cross country many times. In track for us, she’s ran the 100, 200, 300 hurdles, 400, the 4×100, the 4×200, the 4×400, pole vault, long jump. She’s tried to help the team out the best she can, any place she can,” said Coach Rajkowski. “She’s been a team leader for cross country and track and MVP in both. Always concerned about doing her best and trying to improve. She’s going to be hard to replace. I’m glad and proud to have Austyn as one of my athletes.”
“I want to thank you all for coming tonight, and thank all my coaches I’ve had in the past to get me to where I am today,” followed Austyn. “I thank my teammates for pushing me; we had fun dominating in the 4×200.”
Eng is a two-time State Track entrant on the 4×200 relay. She recently set Bomber girls track team records for the 300-meter hurdles (49.17 seconds) and the pole vault (9-0). She also was a key support player and defender for the Bomber girls basketball’s success the past four seasons, starting at point guard this last winter for the team which reached State.
Asked what events she could be competing in at BSU, Eng replied, “Pole vault, for sure– that will be my main thing. But really it doesn’t matter. As Coach Rajkowski said, I’ve done just about everything in track, so whatever events (BSU) Coach Hougen wants me to do, I’ll do it. Maybe a little hurdling.”
“I love the Bemidji State campus– it’s right on the lake,” she added. “I really love being at our lake cabin in Wisconsin, so that really helped. There’s underground tunnels so you don’t freeze while walking in the winter. And everybody seems so nice and helpful up there. I got a good vibe, like I could call it my second home.”
– Story & photos by Greg Hunt