Paz still winning, even Down Under

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Adam Paz left for the Down Under Track and Field Meet in Brisbane, Australia, on June 30, and came home with two silver medals and the experience of a lifetime.

Photos courtesy Michele Paz: Adam Paz takes the leap in Brisbane, Australia, in the International Down Under Track & Field Meet in early July. Paz came home with two silver medals.

Paz placed second out of 12 competitors in the long jump, with a 6.21-meter jump (20 feet); he also took second in the triple jump against 10 competitors from such places as Australia, New Zealand, Africa and the United States. Paz had a jump of about 44 feet in the triple jump.

“The guys that beat me only beat me by, like, two inches,” Paz said. “A first place would have been nice, but I’m pretty happy with my performance.”

The Down Under Track & Field Meet is a three-day international competition with athletes from the United States, Australia and various other nations. The meet is in its 13th year and is the largest high school age international meet held in Australia each year. In 2013, the meet was held at Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus on July 5, 6 and 7 with an opening and closing ceremony.

The competition facility was renovated as a training ground for the 2000 Summer Olympics held in Sydney, Australia.

Events held during the competition included the 100-meter, 200-meter, 400-meter, 800-meter, 1,500-meter and 3000-meter runs; the 90-meter, 100-meter, 110-meter, 200-meter, 300-meter and 400-meter hurdles and the 2,000-meter steeple, as well as the long jump, triple jump, high jump, pole vault, shot put, discus, javelin and hammer throws.

Adam Paz poses on the podium with the gold and bronze medal winners during the International Down Under Track & Field Meet in Brisbane, Australia, earlier this month.

In addition to adding two silver medals to his collection of triumphs from his high school jumping career, Paz had the opportunity to see sights around Brisbane and Sydney and to make several new friends. Paz had the opportunity to interact with native Australian wildlife, including a kangaroo and a python, and he got to visit the opera house and other historic sights in Sydney.

Paz said he enjoyed the beach in Brisbane because it was so clean and there were some big waves. He said the most rewarding experience may have been making new friends from around the United States.

“I want to thank my family and friends, and all of the community for their support in helping me go to Australia,” Paz said. “It was a great experience.”

Paz’s next stop is the University of New Mexico, where he plans to attend this fall and intends to join the track team as a walk-on.