Sheffield High School junior Kalil Slaughter has already come a long way, from the streets of Philadelphia to the Abraxas juvenile detention facility then on to Sheffield High School.
Slaughter, with the help of guardians Buck and Sharon Hilyer, is trying to turn his life around by living in Clarendon and becoming a student at Sheffield High School.
He's flourishing to the tune of a new school record in the 100-meter dash on Saturday at the prestigious McDowell Invitational, as well as being part of the school record-breaking 400 relay there.
Slaughter has his sights set on the Warren County Track Meet, the District 9 Championships and a possible return to the PIAA Class AA Championships. Then, Australia.
Slaughter has been invited to participate in the Down Under Sports Tournament (downundersports.com) in Australia from June 26 through July 4. The Down Under Sports Tournament hosts a number of sports, but Slaughter has been invited for track and field.
The Down Under International Games Tri-Nations Meet is a three-day international competition with athletes from the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. The Tri-Nations Meet is in its 11th year and is the largest high school-age international meet held in Australia each year. In 2011, the meet will take place at Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, on July 2nd, 3rd, and 4th with an opening and closing ceremony.
The facility is an all-weather, synthetic track with electronic photo-finish timing.
In addition to the competition, which Kalil is obviously looking forward to, he's never been out of the country.
The total cost of the competition is $3,598 and Sharon Hilyer is heading a four-person committee to help Kalil raise the funds. Additional funds are needed for travel and personal expenses, but the Hilyers and Slaughter have already helped to raise $1,500 through the Sheffield Sports Boosters, Sheffield Gridiron Club and the community.
Letters have been mailed to community businesses asking for sponsorship, and Slaughter is going to hold "Tag Days" at local businesses in Sheffield this Friday and Saturday.
A benefit dinner will be held at noon on Sunday, May 22, at the Sheffield Vets Club.
To top it off, Sharon Hilyer would like to travel to Australia with Kalil and is selling her camper to try to raise the money.
Prior to Slaughter accepting the invitation officially, or Down Under Sports accepting payment, he must wait for his passport, which has been sent for.
In the meantime, all donations by check should be made out to International Sports Specialists, Inc., or ISSI, and mailed to Kalil Slaughter, 12890 Route 6, Clarendon, Pa. 16313.