KZN team continue to impress

2012-02-14 00:00

THE Pietermaritzburg Invitation Team, selected at the end of 2011, competed last weekend in Pretoria at the prestigious Menlo Park athletics meeting. There were six other teams, which included the hosts and Monument, both considered to be in the top five athletic schools in the country. The other teams were Ermelo and Nelspruit (Mpumalanga), Klerksdorp (North West) and Eldoraigne (Pretoria).

The KZN athletes, under manager Riaan Botha from Treverton, continued to impress at this meeting. Each year their overall results have improved.

The Palframan sisters, Caitlin and Justine, and Quintin Hitge have been stars for the past few years. This year a new star from the province surfaced. Cassidy Williamson of Durban Girls’ College was voted the top track athlete of the meeting after winning the girls’ U14 100 and 200 metres and helping the 4x100 m relay team to a win (905 points), thus winning three gold medals. She won the 200 metres in a record time of 24,80 seconds, which earned 1 100 points on the ABSA scale.

To win a medal at this prestigious meeting is tough as the performance must qualify with at least 890 ABSA points. Thus winning an event does not guarantee a medal — the performance has to be very good. On the other hand a medal could have been won by coming fourth if the time/distance qualified with the 890 points or more.

The Invitation team came away with 10 medals, of which Williamson won three. The other gold medal winner was Kate Millitz of The Wykeham Collegiate, who gained 905 points in the girls’ U15 high jump.

The other medal winners were Michael Geer (Michaelhouse) in the boys’ U14 long jump (1 003 points), Sonwa Skhosana (Glenwood) in the boys’ U17 200 m (933), Anthony Mwanga (DHS) and Eugh Nyabaku (Treverton), both in the boys’ U15 long jump. Mwanga was second, winning 917 points and Nyabaku was fourth with 909 points. In this event the top four were within 10 cm of one another.

Gina Lofstad (St Marys) was third in the girls’ U17 800 m where she gained 909 points. The boys’ U17 4x100 m relay came second, winning the 10th medal (891).

Winners of their events were Jarred Kriel (Maritzburg College) (B) U14 800 m, Leesha van Onselen (DGC) (G) U15 800 m, S Khumalo (Empangeni) (B) U15 400 m, Eugh Nyabaku (Treverton) (B) U15 high jump, Roland Pienaar (Howick) (B) U16 discus, Kevin Botha (Voortrekker) (B) U17 long jump, Sonwa Skhosana (Glenwood) (B) U17 400 m, S Sibiya (Greytown) (B) U19 long jump, triple jump and high jump. The boys’ open Swedish relay was also won by the Invitation team.

A further 15 second places, 16 third places and 19 fourth places were achieved by the local athletes.

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