By Mike Maltais
This week, Liberty Bell High School junior and varsity wrestler Jacob McMillan will be getting ready to board a flight out of Los Angeles as one of eight Washington state high school wrestlers who will compete with Down Under Sports in Australia and New Zealand from June 28 through July 6.
McMillan was first contacted by Down Under after he placed second in the 1B/2B state wrestling championships as a freshman. He was unable to attend that year but was again invited by Down Under following his third-place finish at state in the 145-pound division earlier this year.
The two-time state veteran had to raise about $5,300 to make the weeklong trip and accomplished that goal through fundraisers. He will be one among some 50 to 60 high school wrestlers representing the United States at the three-country competition. Last year the U.S. wrestlers won the gold medal in the final team dual event.
McMillan said he will compete at either 152 or 160 pounds.
“When we get there they will weigh us and set up brackets,” McMillan said. “We’ll practice every day for tournaments in Australia and New Zealand.”
McMillan is the first Mountain Lion wrestler to attend the Down Under competition in the southern hemisphere. He should gain valuable experiences to share with his varsity teammates when wrestling season arrives at LBHS this winter.