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September 19, 2012

Hurdling down under

By Jon Malavolti
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Utica High’s Freddie Crittenden, pictured this past spring, has been selected to compete in the Down Under Sports Track and Field Meet in July 2013 in Australia.

When Freddie Crittenden opened the mail that day, he said what he found made it a “great morning.”

The Utica High senior track star had received a letter that mid-August morning indicating he had been selected to compete in the Down Under Sports Track and Field Meet by recommendation of a coach in the state.

So Crittenden, a hurdler, will pack his bags next July and travel to Australia to represent Michigan and the United States in the three-day international competition.

“It’s really exciting,” Crittenden said. “I always like having new experiences, see new cultures and stuff. I’ve got a lot of excitement built up to go.”

It was his performance at this past spring’s state meet, in which Crittenden finished third in the 100-meter high hurdles, that led to another coach in the state recommending him for the competition.

“I consider myself good enough to compete statewise, but to think someone thinks of me as having the potential to compete internationally, that’s very surprising. I didn’t expect that. It’s a good feeling; people have confidence in me. It helps me have confidence.”

But until that time comes, Crittenden is focused on finishing off his senior season at Utica with a bang.

“I really want to get a state title, and make sure I get through my season without making huge mistakes. I think I missed out on something last year that I could have had,” he said.

The Down Under Sports Track and Field Meet features athletes from the United States, Australia and other various nations. The meet is in its 13th year and is the largest high school age international meet held in Australia each year. The 2013 meet will take place at Griffith University’s Gold Coast Campus on July 5-7, with an opening and closing ceremony.

Down Under Sports features several other athletic competitions, for more information, visit www.downundersports.com.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jon Malavolti at jmalavolti@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1040. Twitter Follow Jon on Twitter.