Gonzales athlete competes abroad


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Gonzales High athlete Pablo Villasenor competed last month at the 18th Annual International Games Track and Field Meet in Queensland, Australia. Villasenor is a member of the Spartan football, basketball and track and field teams.

GONZALES — Gonzales High School three-sport athlete Pablo Villasenor recently returned from Australia after competing in the 18th Annual International Games Track and Field Meet that was held at Griffith University Track in Queensland.

The track and field meet is part of the Down Under Sport Tournaments that are hosted in Australia. The 18-year-old Villasenor, son of Pablo and Carla Villasenor, competed in shot put, discus and javelin.

At Gonzales High, the senior athlete had a successful athletic year, attaining All-League award on both sides of the ball in football, was an All-League basketball player, and was league champion in the shot put and discus.

“I left from San Francisco Airport and two and a half hours later, we landed in Vancouver,” Villasenor said. “We then boarded another plane for the 17-hour trip to Australia. I was able to make friends with a sprinter and pole vaulter from California, so I wasn’t alone for very long. This is the first time I have been out of the USA and the first time I flew on a plane. When we got to Australia, our team from the United States was broken up into groups and was placed in the Dingo’s group. We went on a sight-seeing tour right away and few hours later we were at our first track practice.”

While training for the track and field meet was a priority, Villasenor was pleased that he was able to enjoy the beauty of Australia. The multi-sport athlete worked hard at practice then used his down time to travel and enjoy the sights.

“Our hotel was right by the ocean, so that was really cool,” he said. “We also got to travel the Great Barrier Reef, go whale watching, and I was able to go scuba diving for the first time.”

Villasenor’s sight-seeing also included visiting Brisbane, traveling to the kangaroo fields and exploring a wildlife sanctuary before the start of the athletic competition that began July 13. The international track meet was a three-day event and concluded with an awards ceremony and farewell dinner.

Villasenor competed in the 18 and over division and placed fourth in the shot put and discus and seventh in the javelin.

“The competition at the meet was pretty good,” Villasenor said. “On the United States team there were people from California, Idaho and New Jersey, and I felt I was able to compete with all of them as I had trained pretty hard.

“I threw 48 feet in the shot put, 131 feet in the discus and 105 feet in the javelin. The javelin was new to me and I just had a few days to prepare for it,” he added.

Villasenor is thankful to the Gonzales businesses and individuals that helped make his trip to Australia possible, including Rabobank, Valdez Auto Sales, Jackpot, Perea Auto Sales and other groups from Gonzales.


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