Talent goes global for competitions

Talent+goes+global+for+competitions

Few high school athletes drive further than a few hours to compete in athletic events. Even fewer travel outside of the state for a competition or meet. And it’s a true rarity to find someone who has traveled abroad for athletics.

Granite Bay High School, however, has its share of students and alumni who have continued to demonstrate their excellence through competing not in events across the nation, but in events across the world.

Several of those who have traveled abroad, whether for soccer or for biking, agree that the competition is significantly higher abroad.     

“Cycling in Europe is like football in the U.S.,” said senior Taylor Kring, who has been biking for three years. “There are a ton of people who race and the community supports it a lot more.”

During this past summer Kring spent time cycling in Belgium as a guest rider for a team called Washington Spin. He said the highlight of cycling abroad was his first race, a U23 and elite race.

“There were 150 people and a couple of pros racing,” Kring said. “It went through a city. It was a very different experience. Registration was located inside the local pub and there were a bunch of old men drinking beer and betting. There were probably a couple thousand people at the race and there was traditional music and everyone was cheering and partying. It was super cool to be apart of a different culture and not just be watching it.”

Kring said the whole atmosphere of cycling in Belgium was far different from that of the United States.

“(One) race (there were) 140 people and the whole race was on super narrow roads (that were) two or three people wide, and some of them were cobble roads,” Kring said. “It was raining and really windy. It was really crazy because everyone was pushing each other to try to get to the front and people were getting pushed off the road and there were a lot of crashes. It felt very Belgium and it was really cool.”

Kring plans to continue cycling in college next year.

Cody Sundquist is a fairly known name in the Granite Bay community. He left GBHS after his first semester of high school to further develop his soccer career in Florence, Italy. He now plays for Fiorentina’s primavera team which is their reserve team.

“I first got involved with Fiorentina because one day I was playing a game in the Bay Area and there happened to be a guy from the club who was scouting at the game,” Sundquist said. “After that I went for a one week trial and ever since then I’ve been going back and forth. I ultimately wanted to leave the (United States) because the level of competition is higher (in Europe) and I knew that I would develop into a better player because everything is focused on and centered around soccer here.”

Growing up in the Granite Bay community, Sundquist played several years of soccer for Placer United Soccer Club. He was able to play one season of soccer on the GBHS varsity team his freshman year, before he left for Italy.

“My two future goals and aspirations would be to represent the senior national team in any competition and to play professional soccer in Europe,” Sundquist said.

Sophomore Aleah Treiterer played soccer in Japan as part of the Player Development Program state team.

“I have been playing soccer for about 10 years and … I kind of just love the game as a whole,” Treiterer said.

Like Sundquist and Kring, Treiterer said she’s seen high levels of competition when she’s played internationally.

“I guess when you travel you tend to play the best competition in that area, so the competitors tend to get better and better the more you travel,” Treiterer said.

Being on the U.S. national team is “one of (Treiterer’s) dreams.” Treiterer also said she would like to possibly coach soccer abroad in the future.

Like GBHS’s other international athletes, Treiterer’s athletic career is highlighted by her trips abroad.

“Some of the biggest highlights from my soccer career was traveling to Florida with the regional team to play the other three regions, being able to travel all over California and the country for different soccer competitions and traveling to Japan for soccer, which was probably one of the most eye opening experiences that I will ever have,” Treiterer said. “Seeing a whole other culture and way of living was very interesting, and how you could see the influences of our culture in Japan. It was also really cool talking to the girls because even though we didn’t really speak the same languages, we were still able to communicate and get to know each other. The trip showed how soccer could connect entirely different cultures together, which was a really cool to witness.”

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