Austin Hamilton caps off strong sophomore season for Evart

EVART — Austin Hamilton has been one-half of a twin brother combination that’s been very effective for the Evart boys cross country team.

He and his brother have been running behind Josh and Nathan Woods during the season. A sophomore, this is Austin’s second year of varsity cross country and fourth overall.

He was 18th at the state finals earlier this month and was his team’s top runner (16:59.2).

Evart was in the top 10 as a team last season, but Austin was injured the second half of the year. But he got back to 100 percent and did plenty of summer running.

‘I haven’t gotten my PR yet,” he said earlier in the season, referring to a 17:56. But Hamilton was hoping to get there by the end of September.

“It’s going to take great weather,” he said. “About 50 to 60 degrees (is ideal).”

His best time at the Evart Invitational in late September was 18:09. He notched his PR on Oct. 22 at the Chippewa Hills Late Season Warrior Invitational at 17:27.4. A few days later, he was seventh in 17:35.6 at the Division 4 regionals, helping his team qualify for Saturday’s state finals at Michigan International Speedway.

Hamilton said the strongest part of his race has been getting off to a good start. He wants to improve on the second mile.

Hamilton said he and his brother run a lot during the summer.

“Usually it’s back and forth,” he said.

The Hamiltons are identical twins and their running habits are the same.

Austin said he and his brother see the Woods brothers “definitely as leaders.”

Evart graduated Division 4 state champion Santana Scott from the 2015 team.

“I think we’re just as good as last year,” Austin Hamilton said. “I think we can get top five at state if we all run well.”

The Hamiltons also run track, Between the two sports, Austin said track is his favorite.

“It’s a bigger team,” he said. “Cross country is harder.”