Mateo Vega Travels the Globe for Australian Track Competition

Chris Stem, Broadcast Manager

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Junior Mateo Vega ran in an international track competition in Australia this past summer.

Vega has been running since seventh grade on both the Warrior track and cross country teams and was very grateful for this opportunity.  

“I was offered the opportunity, and because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, to travel to Australia with other people from the United States who all want to do the same thing that I’m doing, run. I found it extremely unique and interesting to be be able to do something I love somewhere else other than here,” said Vega.

Mateo stands with three fellow athletes.

 

 

Hundreds of athletes participated from various  countries around the world.

“So there were a lot of people. There were about 300 American athletes if I remember correctly. They were from the United States, Australia itself and New Zealand primarily, with some from scattered parts of Asia,” said Vega.

 

Vega competed in the 200, 400 and 800 meter races and had a bronze medal finish in a 4-by-4 relay.

“My performance was more or less okay, for the majority of them. But the 4 by 400 was very good, shockingly, because my team only had met each other one hour before racing, but we managed to score the bronze,”said Vega.  

Vega run with his teams baton in a relay race.

Vega’s trip had a significant impact him and his life.

“This has actually completely changed my life. I used to be very antisocial, and I couldn’t talk to people but by being on a plane for 23 hours with the same people. I was kind of required to talk with them if I wanted to do anything, so I recently came out of a shell and made some good friends that I am still in contact with,” said Vega.

Vega also got to interact with the local wildlife and environment around him.

“I got to hold a koala bear, which was pretty cool. I pet kangaroos too. They’re everywhere; kangaroos are like the deer of Australia. It is also beautiful there. Where I was, I was on Gold Coast, it’s like an hour from Brisbane, and from where I’ve been in the United States nothing compares to likes of the night and the ocean right there on the beach,” said Vega.

Vega pets a kangaroo, an animal he frequently saw on his trip.

Vega raised money for the trip by fundraising locally.

“It cost about five thousand dollars, and I managed to raise it by fundraising, selling shirts and sandwiches and footing the rest of the bill,” said Vega.

 

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