MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WFRV) – After winning back-to-back Track & Field state titles at Kimberly High School, Austin Wallace knew he wanted to run in college. But he didn’t know what event he would focus on.

“I told him about the multi-events and his eyes lit up,” said Brad Hoerth, Kimberly head coach. That conversation over five years ago changed the trajectory of Wallace’s career.

Wallace is now a senior at UW Milwaukee, where he’s competed in the heptathlon in the indoor season and the decathlon in the winter. As a multi-event athlete, Wallace does seven events over the course of two days and earns an overall score based on his times and distances.

Heptathlon events:

  • 60m dash
  • Long jump
  • Shot put
  • High jump
  • 60m hurdles
  • Pole vault
  • 1000m rum

Though he had some jumping experience in high school, Wallace picked up most of the heptathlon events in college.

“I didn’t recruit (Wallace), but when I showed up and saw him, I knew that…he’s just an extremely gifted athlete,” said Andrew Basler, UW Milwaukee Track & Field head coach. Basler’s first year with the program was Wallace’s freshman year.

One event he learned in college was the long jump. In just a few years, he’s mastered the jump and now holds the school record with a 25′ 7.5″ jump.

“I maybe jumped once or twice in the long jump in high school, but I was more a hurdler. So I started long jumping here and it just turned out to be something that I like and am pretty good at,” said Wallace. When asked, his coach quickly elaborated.

“He’s got out school record in the long jump and just missed the National Championship last year. That’s an event he barely touched in high school,” said Bareth.

But the long jump isn’t the only record Wallace holds as a Panther. On January 28, Wallace competed in the Jack Johnson Classic and set a new school record in the heptathlon. While breaking his own school-best heptathlon score, Wallace did so by setting personal records in three events.

After his performance at the end of January, Wallace ranked 15th in the nation in the heptathlon. The top-16 athletes compete in NCAA Division 1 Indoor Championship on March 10-11 in Albuquerque.

Wallace has set his sights on the Indoor Championship and hopes to become the first Milwaukee athlete to compete at the event since fellow Kimberly-grads Brett and Nate Pozolinski did so in 2016 and 2017.

“I give a lot of credit to my coach, without him, I wouldn’t be in this position. Hopefully, we can get to the National met and do some big things and turn some heads.”