Columbia Falls senior track and field athlete Kaedan Clewein will be getting the chance to showcase his skills on the other side of the earth in July as he travels to Australia to compete in the Down Under Games.
Clewein will spend 10 days along the Gold Coast in eastern Australia in early July (winter down under), where he will compete alongside athletes from across the United States and Australia.
“”It should be very exciting and I am looking forward to getting a chance to compete against some of the best athletes in the country and Australia,” Clewein said.
Based in Logan, Utah, Down Under Sports gives 300 American athletes the chance to compete in the games each year, but the athletes must qualify in their individual events and must pay for the trip themselves.
Clewein has qualified to compete in the 100 and 200 meter races, as well as the 4X100-meter relay, events that he has placed in at the Class A State Track Meet during his time with the Wildcats.
Clewein has also done a large portion of the fundraising, but is still $1,500 short of the cost of the trip, not counting spending money.
Those interested in helping Clewein reach the games can contact Down Under Sports on the internet or contact his mother, Leslie Hansen-Clewein, who work at Perfect Cuts in Columbia Falls.
Kaedan says he plans to report for basic training with the Army National Guard after his return from Australia and hopes to attend the police academy and become a peace officer after his time there.
For now, though, he says he would just like the chance to make it to the games and to compete.
“”I don’t care if I win, I just know it is going to be a great experience,” he said. “I will put in the work and do the best I can.”