Bumblebee singlets stand out at national champs

Bumblebee singlets stand out at national champs

9 December 2016

Blood, sweat and tears have paid off for the St Paul’s Collegiate School’s track and field team who returned from last weekend’s New Zealand Secondary Schools Track and Field and Road Championships in Waitakere with a new world best shot putter, a successfully defended 400m sprint title and six bronze medals.

An outstanding highlight was Ryan Ballantyne who maintained his title after a herculean throw of 21.66m in the senior boys’ 5kg shot put, which placed him 3.5m ahead of second place and 7.5m ahead of third.

The 2016 graduate is now New Zealand’s second best thrower of all-time in this weight, an achievement recognised with the Athlete of the Meeting award.

Jess Hood (Year 12) also defended her title and recorded her season’s best effort in the senior girls’ 400m sprint, chasing down her competition to reach the front of the pack with ten metres to spare.

Fellow sprinter Jade Henley-Smith (2016 graduate) wrapped up her last competition in the bumblebee singlet on a positive note, claiming bronze in both the 100m and 200m senior girls’ category.

After some tight competition in the junior boys’ high jump, Lane Tims (Year 11) placed a highly commendable third place with a jump height of 1.80m.

Rounding out the medal tally were the senior boys 4 x 100m relay team (Tao Savou, Tom Yarrall, Connor Gordon and Ryan Wilkins) who continued St Paul’s 12-year medal streak in this category, earning a bronze for their performance.

St Paul’s Athletics Coach Martin Holmes is beaming with pride for his team after their “exceptional performance.”

“This is the pinnacle event for most of these kids so to perform so well at a national level is hugely significant for them. They represented the school with distinction and continued to bring the bumblebee singlet to the fore,” Holmes said.

New Zealand Secondary Schools Track and Field and Road Championships 2016 highlights:

  • Ryan Ballantyne (Year 13) placed first place in senior boys’ shot put
  • Jess Hood (Year 12) placed first in senior girls’ 400m sprint
  • Jade Henley-Smith (Year 13) placed third in 100m and 200m senior girls’ sprint
  • Lane Tims (Year 11) placed third in junior boys’ high jump and fifth in junior boys’ 300m hurdles
  • Senior boys’ 4x100m relay team placed third (Tao Savou, Tom Yarrall, Connor Gordon and Ryan Wilkins)
  • Senior girls’ 4x100m relay team placed fifth (Jess Hood, Jade Henley-Smith, Teri Wathen-Smith and Maddy Tims)
  • James Mitchell (Year 12) finished seventeenth in senior boys’ javelin
  • Andre Kleuskens (Year 12) placed ninth in senior boys’ triple jump
  • Sarah Parker (Year 12) placed fifth in senior girls’ javelin
  • Ryan Wilkins finished sixth in senior boys’ 400m sprint.

(Source: Photo via College Sport Media)