Brody Kelley said people had told him his trip to Australia for cross country competition would be a “once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Following the fun-filled excursion to the land “Down Under,” he would certainly agree.
Kelley, a 2012 graduate of Boone Central High School, was one of the young athletes to take part in the 2012 Down Under Sports Tournaments and Games in Australia, an annual event that began in 1989.
Helped by contributions and donations from local businesses and individuals, Brody and his mother Sherri spent ten days in Australia and Hawaii with a large contingent from all around the United States.
Along with enjoying the new experiences of the Australian Gold Coast and the beaches of Hawaii, Kelley represented his school, community, state and country very well in competition, winning medals in both of his big races.
After several days of activities upon arrival in Australia, the United States runners assembled at Pizzey Park for the All-American Race and, ignoring weather he found not all that different from what he has experinced many times in Nebraska, Kelley placed 15th of more than 70 overall runners and 6th in his 17-over age group with a three-mile time of 18:03.
The days of fun and the All-American Race were all a prelude to the highlight of the trip – the Gold Coast 5K Challenge race.
“We were about to go up against Australia’s best runners – there were over 4,000 runners participating,” Kelley said. “There was electricity in the air and we were chanting USA, USA, USA at the starting line!”
Once again, the former Cardinal competitor turned in an impressive performance. His time over the 5.7K course was 20:01, placing 33rd overall in the huge field of runners and 7th in his 18-20 age group.
The final stop of the trip was Hawaii, which appealed to a somewhat homesick Kelley. Then it was back on an airplane and the return to Nebraska, concluding an unforgettable venture for Brody and Sherri.
“My trip Down Under was very educational and exciting,” said an appreciative Kelley. “I would really like to thank the Albion community and my family for their support so I could take part in such a memorable experience!”
Full Details in Print & Online Editions of Albion News