Local athlete Outback-bound

When he was younger, Daniel Tague's dad gave him a shirt that he bought for a fund-raiser to send a Moffat County High School football player to the Down Under Bowl in Australia. Ever since he received that shirt, the younger Tague has wanted to make the trip to the Outback.

"I still wear the shirt today," he said. "It's kind of been a dream to go."

While the shirt might have shrunk, the dream got bigger and now Tague has earned an invitation to Australia as a track athelete.

The Moffat County junior received a letter in the mail in September inviting him represent Colorado in the Down Under International Games. The Games take place in July and Tague is starting to raise the funds necessary to make the once-in-a-lifetime trip.

The former fullback didn't play football this year to concentrate on track, and now that Australian sports officials have expanded their invitation list to more than just football players, Tague's shirt-inspired dream is still intact.

Last year he qualified for the Class 4A state track meet in the 110-meter high hurdles.

"I hope I'll be better this year," he said. "That way I can hold my own against international competition."

To qualify for the Down Under Games, an athlete from Colorado had to qualify for the state meet. All qualifiers were sent an invitation.

The meet will be a two-day event and the other 12 days will be spent training or sight-seeing around Australia.

"We get to go see the Olympic Stadium and other beautiful spots in the country," Tague said. "If I can raise the money to go, it will be the first time I've gone overseas.

"The second I saw the letter I wanted to go," Tague said. "I was very excited and started begging right away."

For more information about sponsoring Tague, who needs to raise $3,200, or helping in any other way, call him at 824-2619 or write him at 340 Apple St., Craig, Colo. 81625.

David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or dpressgrove@craigdailypress.com

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