Four Wildcat athletes participated in the 2018 FISU America Games that took place in São Paulo, Brazil, from July 20-29, and a each earned medals.
Senior thrower Kayla Melgar, outside hitter Katelyn Mueller, senior thrower Morgan Knight and sophomore cross country runner Soren Underwood all received invitations to the prestigious games. The FISU games were an opportunity for the athletes to experience a different culture while competing in their respective athletics, they said.
Each Wildcat brought back hardware to the states. Meglar took home the gold medal in women’s discus, while also receiving silver in shot put. Knight received bronze medals in the hammer throw, shot put and discus competitions. Underwood received bronze in the 4×4 relay. All were members of the track and field team that collected a combined 23 medals.
Mueller was a member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team that defeated Chile, 3-2, to claim bronze at the games.
Knight said he felt support from family, friends and the university, many of whom said they were proud of the athletes.
“They were thinking the same thing for Kayla, Kate and Soren,” he said. “It was good to have that and see that working. It felt genuine.”
While in Brazil they were able to participate in charity work and serve the community of São Paulo. The trip served as more than just an opportunity to compete but as a chance to help make a difference, Melgar said.
“It definitely was a super eye-opening experience working with the orphanages and the kids that were over there,” Melgar said. “It was something that made me really think about what I want to do after college. It was one of the crazy things that God let happen, and I’m thankful for that.”