Everything he's got

Austin Walker's drive and desire has helped him be successful as a freshman at Crespi

May 30, 2007|By Jeff Tully

Austin Walker doesn't believe in doing anything without giving his maximum effort.

When he was a student at John Muir Middle School, the Burbank resident showcased his athletic prowess. In the annual All-City Middle Schools Track Meet, Walker set meet records, wowed fans and frustrated opponents with his abilities.

In the 2006 meet as an eighth-grader, he captured the boys' 880 yards in a meet-record of 2 minutes 25.5 seconds, won the 200 (26.4), the mile (5:11.9) and helped the Muir mile relay team win (4:16.1) in record time.


In previous meets during his sixth- and seventh-grade years, he won the 440, the shot put and ran on winning 4x400 relay teams.

"Competing in those track meets, I just tried to go out and give it my best," Walker said. "That's just how I am. Whatever I'm doing, I want to make the best effort that I can."

With his obvious proficiency in track and field, one would think that Walker would continue the sport once he reached high school last fall. However, the young athlete's first love is baseball, and there was no way he was going to give it up.

And since the baseball and track and field seasons run simultaneously in high school, Walker had to hang up his running spikes.

"I have been playing baseball since I was 4, and that's the sport I really love," he said. "I was fortunate that I was able to be successful in track at Muir, but I just wanted to concentrate on baseball and give it all of my focus."

That decision has helped Walker flourish in the sport. It has also led him to a program that has enjoyed its share of success this season.

Walker, a freshman, is the starting shortstop for Encino Crespi High. He has been able to make an immediate impact and has assisted the Celts in a fine run in the CIF Southern Section Division playoffs.

"Austin is a very hard worker and he is a very serious ballplayer," Crespi Coach Scott Muckey said. "He is one of those players you appreciate having in your program.

"Being a freshman in this program and being our starting shortstop says a lot about him as a player."

The Celts enjoyed a fine postseason run. Unfortunately, the team was knocked out of the playoffs Tuesday after suffering a 3-2 loss in eight innings in a semifinal game against Loyola at Loyola Marymount University.

In the loss, Walker delivered a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning that scored a run to tie the score at 2.

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