Life down under: Winifred student takes trip to Australia

Charlie Denison

Kaylie is seen in action doing the javelin throw while competing in Down Under Sports, which took place in Brisbane, Australia last month.
Photo courtesy of Kaylie Carlstrom and Down Under Sports


Winifred senior Kaylie Carlstrom had quite the summer.

In July, the Outlaw track star went to Australia to participate in the Down Under Sports program, where she worked with groups of athletes from Montana, Wyoming and Nebraska and learned new skills for javelin and discus throwing.

“Down Under Sports invited me to go and I spent the year raising money to go,” Kaylie said. “That’s one thing I love about Winifred. It’s one big family. People are so nice.”

The experience, which she shared with her grandmother, Marily Hallberg, could not have been better.

“We got to tour around and spend a lot of time on the beach,” Kaylie said. “I got to pet a kangaroo and hold a koala.”

Based in Brisbane, Kaylie and Marily spent a lot of time at Surfer’s Paradise on the Gold Coast, where they took in the South Pacific Ocean and consistently warm weather.

“It was 75 and sunny the whole time,” Kaylie said. “It was perfect.”

The trip itself was rather perfect, as well, Kaylie said, as the athletic schedule was not too demanding, so she had a change to share much of the experience with her grandmother, who lives in Denver.

“It was amazing to share this experience with her,” Kaylie said. “Just hanging out with her, going out to dinner and exploring was great.”

Even just hanging out in the hotel room was excellent, Kaylie added, as they had an excellent view.

“Every morning we could watch the sunrise over the ocean,” she said. “That was awesome.”

After going to Australia – and Hawaii, too – Kaylie returned inspired, ready to apply what she learned about javelin and discus and return to state this year.

That’s not all. Kaylie also wants to return to state in volleyball and make it to state with the basketball team.

Back in school now, the summer Australian adventure is behind her, but new adventures are ahead, such as college. After graduating, Kaylie plans to go to school at Montana State University-Northern in Havre and study either psychology or criminology.

“If I pursue criminology I will probably leave the state of Montana,” she said. “It would be sad to go, but I am ready to experience new places and meet new people.”

It’s kind of surreal being back after such an incredible trip, Kaylie said, one she strongly recommends others take, whether as part of Down Under Sports or just to see Australia.

“If anybody gets a chance to do this, I recommend it,” Kaylie said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”





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