(KMAland) -- One of West Nodaway’s greatest athletes ever and a highly-decorated track champion, the late Dana (Dawson) Austin is the latest KMA Sports Hall of Fame selection.
Austin starred in many sports, but Cheri Kempf – Commissioner of the National Pro Fast Pitch league – remembers her for her outstanding softball abilities.
“We played very competitive youth softball (together),” Kempf told KMA Sports. “We were Midwest girls that never played on the same team, but in that Northwest Missouri quad it was highly competitive. We had fun growing up.”
Austin was a key member of the West Nodaway state softball champion in 1982 and passed on her love for sports and her abilities to her children, including former Missouri star Taylor Gadbois.
“Dana was easy to spot,” Kempf continued. “She was one of those players that was a standout. You’re not going to walk up to the game and not notice her. Clearly, it was that speed. It was exceptional and extraordinary. She got to balls that normally you wouldn’t see people get to, and I saw that years later in her daughter.”
That exceptional speed and athleticism helped her on the track, as well, where she won three state long jump championships from 1983 through 1985. She also won the 100 championship in 1985.
“That’s natural,” Kempf said. “Speed is speed, and when you look at the versatility she had, it speaks to her athleticism.”
Austin will be honored as part of this year’s KMA Sports Hall of Fame class at later date to be determined. Hear the complete interview with Kempf below.
OTHER 2019-20 KMA SPORTS HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCEMENTS