Pocatello, Idaho – Six Australian high school athletes will travel more than 8,400 miles to compete at the 2015 Simplot Games, extending the event’s international legacy to the South Pacific.
Athletes from the Maribyrnong College, located in Melbourne, Australia, will join 1,900 high school athletes from around the United States, Canada and Mexico in February. They will also leave the warm, summer weather of Australia to Idaho in winter.
“I have been training in 40 degree (Celsius, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit) heat over the Christmas break, so the cold of Idaho is going to be a shock,” said Freya Langston, an athlete for Maribyrnong College.
Coach Darren Clark says each of the athletes is excited to come to the United States for the first time, and to compete on an indoor track.
“The most exciting thing for our team is getting the opportunity to compete indoors,” said Clark. “There are no indoor tracks in Australia, so this will be a unique experience. The challenge of competing internationally and meeting athletes from other countries is also exciting.”
The team will bring six athletes, four girls and two boys, who will compete in the high jump, long jump, sprints and distance events.
Be on the lookout for these Australian athletes to make their mark at this years’ Simplot Games: Celeste Mucci is a national champion in the heptathlon, 90-meter hurdles and the long jump. She is also a state champion in the heptathlon, long jump, high jump and 90-meter hurdles. Cody Shanahan is a two-time cross country national champion and state champion in the 1500 meters.
With the addition of the Australia team, Simplot Games expands their international athletes reach. Canadian athletes were the first to cross borders to compete, and have been a dominant force since. Two Simplot Games meet records are held by Canadian athletes: Tyler Smith from Edmonton, Alberta, in the boys’ 800 meters, and Emily Kroshus from Calgary, Alberta, in the girls’ 3200 meters. Last year athletes from Morelia, Mexico joined the Games, and will return to compete this year.
“Having athletes from other countries helps us broaden our horizons, and allows athletes to compete on a different level” said Lisa Woodland, Simplot Games executive director. “It also gives us a chance to see how athletes compete on an international basis.”
More than 1,900 athletes will come from across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Australia to participate in the 37th annual Simplot Games. Simplot Games remains the nation’s premier high school indoor track and field event. Sponsored by the J.R. Simplot Company since 1979, the Simplot Games are held at Idaho State University’s Holt Arena in Pocatello, Idaho.
For more information on Simplot Games, please visit our website at www.simplotgames.com. You may also contact Lisa Woodland at (208) 235-5673 or Simplot Games Media Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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