Senior travels to Australia for track and field competition

Senior Shane Berens traveled to Australia this summer to compete in a track and field competition.
Berens got a letter from the Down Under Sports Committee one day, inviting him to participate in the event, which led him to then take the offer.

“I went because I figured it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I decided to take advantage of it,” Berens said

Traveling with a group of other athletes from July 3-14, Berens was also able to vacation to Hawaii for three days of relaxation during his trip to Australia.

Berens said the plane ride for the trip itself took about 14 hours. His flight was a direct flight from Los Angeles to Australia.

“I had the worst jet lag ever,” Berens said. “A couple of nights I stayed up all night.”

Berens said he had been on a plane ride a few times in previous years, but nothing comparable to flying all the way to Australia.

“I definitely slept for most of the time that I was on the plane,” Berens said. “When I wasn’t asleep, I was either eating or watching a movie.”

Everyone Berens encountered along the way was a stranger, so during his time in the program he met all new people and made a couple friends.

Berens said his most memorable moment was practicing on the Gold Coast.

“Every morning we woke up early and got to see the sunrise,” Berens said.


Competing in shot put and discus, Berens said he threw 156 feet in discus, and 50 feet in shot put, which is a bigger size than the shot put he’s used to using in high school. He placed second in shot put and first in discus.

The United States team Berens was competing with placed first overall.

“My favorite part about the trip was getting to experience the different culture down in Australia and seeing all of the different things they had compared to the United States,” Berens said.

Berens added he believed the entirety of the experience was relaxing.

“It wasn’t as much about the competition as it was about the experience,” Berens said. “It was so awesome to be able to enjoy a different culture in a different country.”