NAPOLEON — Napoleon senior Josh Gaffney is getting his senior year off to a bang, with track and field competition in Australia.
Gaffney will be flying to Australia on July 7. He will spend about 10 days competing in the city of Gold Coast, a coastal city in the Australian state of Queensland.
There, Gaffney will be competing in the Down Under Sports Tournaments against Australia and some other countries in hurdle events, as well as in the 400 meter dash and 4 x 400 meter (1600) relay.
“I have high hopes that the competition will be good,” Gaffney said. “I’m looking forward, too, to seeing some great sunsets, the ocean waves and to see what’s different about Australia, from America.”
Gaffney’s brother Daniel, a junior last year, competed last summer in the Down Under Sports Tournaments in cross country, also in the city of Gold Coast.
Josh received an invitation letter from Down Under Sports to also compete in cross country. But seeing that his strengths lie in track, Josh persuaded Down Under Sports to allow him to compete in track events.
This past spring, Josh placed fifth in the Northern Lakes League in both the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles. In addition, he ran a leg on the 1600 relay for Napoleon, which finished fourth in the NLL.
Josh, who had to raise $5500 in sponsorship money in order to go, is now fully funded. The expense money is for the cost of flying to Gold Coast, along with competition, food and hotel stay.
“This is a major blessing for me, to go down there and run and form a team to compete against others,” Gaffney said. “It’s a great opportunity to see how far I’ve come in my training. I think the competition will be very tough, so I need to go in with a clear mind and just compete and do my best. I have a lot of people supporting me and I don’t want to let them down. It could also be an opportunity to form lifelong friendships, not just with my teammates, but also with competitors from other countries. I’m really excited to do this.”
Josh will likely also get to do some sightseeing of the surrounding area.