Columbia, SC (WLTX) --- Jared Sanders, a recent graduate from Eau Claire High School, will represent The United States in this year's "Down Under Games" being held in Australia.
Sanders, an All-State runner in the 800m, will run the same event in the international meet. Student-athletes from Australia and New Zealand will compete along with the Americans. The meet takes place from July 1-10.
You'd be surprised to know that Sanders is former baseball player. He's only been running track for a couple of years as a favor to his late grandfather.
"My Granddad had always liked to see me run," Sanders said. "I was like 'Hey this is a perfect opportunity.' I lost my Grandad in the ninth grade. "So I was like 'I can do this and dedicate this to him.'"
Jared will be experiencing different cultures when he makes his trip across the Pacific Ocean. He hopes to learn about other cultures and bring those ideals back with him to the States.
"I can learn stuff about other regions of the world and bring it back to my community and help somebody else out," he explained.
Sanders is very talented runner but he has chosen to not run at the collegiate level. He will be heading to USC-Aiken in the fall along with his twin brother.
"I can't run track forever. So I'm going to have to have a good education and a good job to fall back on," Sanders said.
Upon graduating from college, Jared wants to be a physical therapist.