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By Mike Beas

If idle time is something Claire Austin is seeking, she’s going about it all wrong.

Between the three sports the Cascade senior plays, the student activities she’s involved in and the work required to maintain her impressive academic standing, Austin is always on the go.

Just the way she planned it. Just the way she likes it.

The 5-foot-10 Austin’s current role athletically is as the right-side hitter for the Cadets’ volleyball team, which opened its season on August 12 with a 25-19, 25-20, 25-21 loss at Indian Creek. She finished that match with two kills and two blocks.

Austin is one of five seniors on the volleyball roster, along with defensive specialist Lexi Mayes, libero Avery Littrell, outside hitter Kaylee Johnson and setter Mary Van Ness.

“Claire absolutely has great things going for her from all angles,” said first-year Cascade volleyball coach Stacey Begle, who held the same position at Tri-West for 12 seasons (2006-2017).

“One of the unique things about Claire is that she’s always willing to listen for and learn new information. She’s very mature, always has a smile on her face and is helpful to everyone.”

The Cadets finished last season with a 21-14 record, as Austin contributed 111 kills, 45 blocks, 34 assists and 58 digs. She entered the aforementioned season-opener with career totals of 196 kills, 110 digs and 45 assists.

Austin, who is ranked 20th academically in her class of 133 students with a 3.99 grade-point average, will eventually play forward for Cascade’s girls basketball program before being a pole vaulter in track and field next spring.

Additionally, she is a member of her school’s National Honor Society, is secretary for student council and has been involved in 4-H since the third-grade.

Austin did a Q&A with ICON:

Q: Why do you enjoy being a three-sport athlete when most your age stick to one or two?

A: I just always liked being involved with all the groups of people. I love being active, and I love sharing the stuff I find interesting with other people.

Q: Do you have a favorite of the three, or is it just whatever you’re playing at the time?

A: It’s whatever I’m playing at the time. I get asked that all of the time, and I really can’t come up with an answer. I get to talk to my friends all the time, and I never get bored. It’s like having a second family at school. Well, three, really.

Q: What do you want to be doing 10 years from now, and why?

A: I would like to be a physician’s assistant because they do so many different things every day. My mom (Nichole) is a nurse. I would like to major in health science, but I don’t know yet where I’m going to college.

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