By Sheri Duff
Autumn Eastman is impressive. So is her track and cross country numbers. And that’s just the beginning of the accolades Champlain Valley Union (CVU) Head Track & Field Coach Eli Enman pays his standout senior runner. “I’m happy to talk about Autumn. She is a fantastic athlete that is very committed to the team. Every year she has improved because of her excellent work ethic and a desire to give it her all. It has been amazing to watch her progress over the last four years,” Enman informed. “Her numbers in track are quite impressive. Not only is Autumn the school record holder in the 800, 1,500, 3,000, and 4×800, but she is also the Division I state record holder in the 800 and 4×800 relay. Autumn is just a solid, no nonsense performer that puts in the hard work and gets great results. She is an inspiration to a lot of people on the team.”
CVU Head Cross Country Coach Scott Bliss echoes the sentiment, “Autumn’s dedication and work ethic helped turn her into one of the best cross country runners in the entire country. She is the most impressive runner that I have ever coached.”
Born on Aug. 5, 1996, Eastman has lived in Hinesburg her entire life. Her family includes parents, Julie and John; younger brother Elliot, a sophomore at CVU; and Andre, an eighth grader at the Hinesburg Community School (HCS); and a dog named Rigby.
“Friends talked me into running cross country in middle school,” Eastman recounted. “After I won my first race I received a plate of cookies as an award. Even though those cookies hooked me, I didn’t participate in track & field until my freshman year at CVU. It was just the path I chose as an athlete.”
What a path it has been. Eastman won two individual state championships at the D-I state track & field meet last year, leading the Redhawks to a second place finish while also winning the 800-meter run with a state-record time of 2:13.06 and the 1,500-meter run of 4:40.72. She also ran the anchor leg for CVU’s 4×800-meter relay quartet that won with a state-record time of 9:29.75. As a fait accompli, Eastman was selected the state’s Gatorade Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year as a junior.
As a senior Eastman was named Gatorade Vermont Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year for the following athletic achievements: she raced to the D-I individual state championship with a time of 18:47.4, leading CVU to the state title as a team. She took third at both the New England Cross Country Championships and the Nike Cross Nationals Northeast Regional championships. After a 16th place finish at Nike Cross Nationals with a time of 17:56.9, Eastman is currently the fastest Vermonter to perform nationally since 2004.
In addition to cross country and track & field, Eastman is a four-year Nordic skier, a member of the National Honor Society, and a local volunteer on behalf of middle school literacy-outreach initiatives, youth ski programs, and CVU’s Athletic Leadership Club that promotes positive sportsmanship.
Next year Eastman will take her running and academic talents, she maintains a 4.0 GPA, to Georgetown to pursue an interest in health science. “I’m officially undecided but I know I want to be a part of the medical field,” she offered. If past experience is any indication of future success; there’s no doubt that Eastman will have an impressive run.