While the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions closed the possibility of using external venues, it opened up the chance to bring back a piece of school history. And so, for the first time in 22 years, the Athletics Sports Championships returned to school grounds on Wednesday 23 February 2022, with a few events taking place over the rest of the week.
Weather conditions were splendid across all days, and the athletes faced manageable levels of wind and sunshine. Despite these conditions and the cheering on of athletes by fellow students, no new records were set during these days – access to a full tartan track was clearly missed.
In the junior grade, the 1500m saw a head-to-head race between Form 3 student C. A. S. Forsyth and Form 4 student A. A. Abdul-Razack, who was able to outsprint his competitor in the last 30m. In turn, Forsyth managed to win the 3000m in 11.10 seconds. Form 3 student L. C. R. Thomson came first in the 100m with 12.86 seconds, while the 200m and the 300m were won by Form 3 student J. T. Braun and Form 4 student J. A. Pritchard, respectively.
It was Pritchard who claimed the overall junior championship by winning a close 800m race, and by achieving second place in the 100m and third in the triple jump. The throws were dominated by Form 4 students S. F. Openshaw with a fine 31.07m in javelin, and S. T. F. R. Naufahu in both the shot put and discus. 80m hurdles, high jump, and triple jump were won by Form 3 students D. Yu, A. K. Sharma and B. M. Armstrong.
Form 5 student J. A. Thomson achieved some outstanding results in the intermediate grade, placing first in both the 100m (11.57 seconds) and the 200m (24.5 seconds). To top it all off, he scored another three wins in the three throws, earning him the title of Intermediate champion with a full 25 points. He was followed by Form 6 student H. G. Waldegrave who won the hurdle, high jump, and triple jump.
In the 3000m, Form 4 student C. P. Wagener ran a tactical race which allowed him to outrun his fellow competitors to first place without quite reaching his record set in the previous year. Wagener also won the 1500m, whereas the 800m were won by Form 5 student R. W. Fitzpatrick and the 400m by Form 4 student C. E. Howlett.
One of most anticipated events of the senior grade – the 100m – took place just at the beginning of lunch, drawing a sizeable crowd of students and staff. The spectators witnessed a close finish that Form 7 student J. P. Young managed to decide for himself in 11.61s, followed by classmates E. W. Chaytor and C. H. Davidson, who went on to win the 400m and the 110m hurdles, respectively.
The senior school champion, however, was decided elsewhere; Form 6 student J. A. Mora achieved a trifecta of wins in the 800m, 1500m, and 3000m, a feat that Form 7 student E. J. Botha replicated for javelin, discus, and shot put. With both athletes on 15 points, they will share the 2022 senior championship. A special mention goes to Form 7 student J. G. P. Fuafiva who won the long jump (5.85m) and triple jump (11.17m).
Due to the current situation, the athletes are now preparing to advance straight into the Greater Auckland Championships held later this month. We wish the team well and are looking forward to their representation of the School’s proud Athletic Sports tradition.