Cayla is VP’s golden girl

2015-07-15 06:00
Cayla Seddon (front) is this week’s Puma School Sport Star. 


: Cayla Seddon (front) is this week’s Puma School Sport Star. photo: SUPPLIED

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CAYLA Seddon is this week's Puma School Sport Star.

She made history this past season in track and field athletics for the Eastern Cape High Schools team and Eastern Province Athletics when she became the first Victoria Park High School athlete to win two gold medals at the national secondary schools championships in March this year.

She won another gold medal at the Athletics South Africa Junior Championships, which were held in Bloemfontein in April 2015. She went on to claim a very impressive fourth place at the Athletics South Africa Senior Championships in Stellenbosch on 17 and 18 April.

Click here to find out how to enter the Puma School Sport Star competition

Cayla qualified for the national championships when she outclassed her opponents in local and provincial championships, competing in 12 athletics competitions, where she went unbeaten in the 100m, 100mH and 200m in all these competitions. She is the current Eastern Cape High Schools 100m, 100mH and 200m U/19 champion and also the current Eastern Province Athletics 100m, 100mH and 200m Champion.

National Secondary Schools Champs

Cayla qualified for the final of the 100mH with the fastest time of the 8 competitors – a personal best time of 14.51s, giving her coaching team hope that she could come away with a gold medal. She ran a perfect race, beating the opposition comfortably by about 5 metres. Tears of absolute joy fell from all as the reality of her achievement set in. The most satisfying part of the victory was the fantastic time she ran, an amazing personal best time 13.79s in the 100mH sprint race, dipping under the 14 second barrier – which is huge for female athletes.

Cayla also improved her personal best time in the 200m – 24.79 in the semi-final and 24.48 in the final race.

Athletics South Africa Junior Champs

Cayla qualified comfortably for the Junior Women 100mH final and came in second place with a time of 14.45. Later in the day she took part in the Junior Women 200m heats, once again coming in second place with a time of 24.64.

The following day was a big day for Cayla as she took to lane 5 (her favourite lane) in the final of the 100mH. She got out of the blocks first and stormed into a lead after the very first hurdle of the race, a lead she maintained to the finish line to claim her third gold medal at national athletics competitions, winning the race in a time of 14.16.

Celebrations had to be cut short as she had to focus on the final of the 200m. In what was a very competitive race, she took fourth place with a time of 24.49, just outside her personal best time of 24.48.

Athletics South Africa Senior Champs

The final competition saw Cayla testing out the waters at senior level. In the heat of the senior women 100mH, she came in second place with a time of 14.36. An excited and nervous young lady went into the final hoping to get a medal-place position. She eventually came in fourth place, narrowly missing out on a senior bronze medal with her time being identical to the 14.36 achieved in the semi-finals. As a 17-year-old and the youngest athlete in the final, she and her coaches were over the moon with the achievement.

What makes Cayla’s achievements most remarkable is the number of setbacks she endured this season, picking up a foot injury that restricted her early season preparations, followed by the disappointment of missing out on the inclusion into the ASA Junior team that travelled to Ethiopia, although she was named as part of the initial 90-member squad.

She is a product of TJ Athlete Management – a high performance coaching agency based in Port Elizabeth. Huge credit must also go to her coaches, Jessi Heatley and Thobela Thoba who have been working with Cayla for the past 5 years

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