A three-sport athlete from Ashe County High School made the most of a great opportunity when he competed against the best track and field athletes in the world.
Zach Hudler, a rising senior at ACHS, won gold, silver, and bronze medals in three field events at the Down Under International Games held at Griffith University in Australia. Hudler took gold in the shotput, silver in the hammer throw, and bronze in the discus.
Only seven athletes from the state of North Carolina competed in the event, and Hudler had the distinction of being the only one who competed in any of the field events.
Being honored with the chance to take on some of the top athletes in the world was a “life changing and awesome experience to have,” said Hudler
“It was fun, but nerve-wracking at the same time,” he added.
The events that Hudler competed in lasted over a span of three days, something the ACHS senior had never experienced before.
“I thought it was going to be another track meet, then I got there, and there were so many people there. It was unreal and it was just mind-blowing at what it all looked like and sounded like,” said Hudler. “I was nervous, but made friends quick with the other throwers. It calmed me down.”
In the discus event, Hudler competed against eight other throwers, while he competed with five athletes in the hammer throw and six throwers in the shot put.
Hudler made the trip by himself, thanks in large part to the donations and the numerous volunteer hours put forth by not only him, but also from all parts of the county. A total of $4,700 dollars was raised through chicken barbeques and donations pouring in from friends, family members, and others around the area.
“ I want to thank everybody for supporting me, Lowes’ for donating the charcoal, and Shatley Springs for donating the coleslaw, and I also want to thank everybody who helped me in my chicken barbeques and those that came out and helped support me,” added Hudler.