Prince Edward and Peterhouse Girls opened the cross country season with team victories at Watershed College in Marondera on Friday afternoon (21 January 2016).
A total of six races made up the competition with three age groups each in the boys’ and girls’ competitions. As has become the norm at the Watershed meet, the girls running in the lowest age group, under 15, recorded the best times even though they ran the same distance as their older peers in the under 17 and open age groups. Andie Kuipers, a Form 2 student at Peterhouse Girls ran the 4.2km course in an impressive 13:14.21 ahead of Paige Westhuizen of Chisipite who came in 43 seconds later. Peterhouse made their intent clear in that first race allowing only Westhuizen to displace them as they claimed positions one, and three to nine.
Arundel’s 2015 efforts of initiating a year-round running club are beginning to pay off as they are starting to record some strong results, though still few and far between. Competing in the U17 race, Margaret Mano was the top finisher for the Mt Pleasant school, running the course in 14:25.40 behind favorite Tinerudo Mawoyo of Gateway who clocked 14:09.56. Behind Mano was another Arundel girl, Emma Swanepoel, making that two out of three podium positions, a first for the school which is famous for accolades in track sprinting events.
|U15 Girls 4.2km||13:14.21
|U15 Boys 4.2km||12:16.81
|U17 Girls 4.2km||14:09.56
|U17 Boys 6.2km||20:44.09
|Open Girls 4.2 km||14:50.19
|Open Boys 7.2km||22:53.03
The boys courses were different distances across all age groups with the under 15 boys running 4.2km, under 17 taking on 6.2km, and the senior boys braving the heat to tackle the 7.2km course. The highlight for the boys’ races were Prince Edward’s Tinashe Gambe in the open boys and St George’s Alfred Chawonza in the under 17 boys. Gambe, an ex-Mufakose 2 High School student now at Prince Edward, took the lead from the onset and maintained his place at the front of the pack, stopping the clock after 22:53.03.
Earlier Alfred Chawonza of St George’s employed the same tactic as Gambe, taking the role of a pacesetter early on in the 6.2km race. Chawonza achieved a qualifying mark for last year’s IAAF World Youth Championships which were set in Cali, Colombia, but was unable to take part as he was under the required age.
We are certainly in for an interesting cross country season, as short lived as it is, spanning only three weeks of competition. This Friday (29 January) cross-country resumes at Arundel School. With the Meteorological Office forecasting heavy rains coming our way, the boys and girls might be spared from the heat as they tackle the tough final course at Lomagundi in Chinhoyi on the 5th of February.
|1||Peterhouse Girls 160||Prince Edward 101|
|2||Chisipite 272||Peterhouse Boys 193|
|3||Lomagundi 313||St George’s 365|
|4||Arundel 337||Lomagundi 454|
|5||Watershed 569||St John’s 606|
|6||Gateway 643||Watershed 652|
|7||Eaglesvale No score||Gateway 804|