Athletes break 53 year drought

ATHLETICS
Last updated 14:57 13/12/2013

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The Marlborough Children's Athletics Club broke a 53 year drought when their young representatives claimed the Russell Cup at Athletic Park on Sunday.

Richmond athletes traditionally dominate the three main annual events on the Tasman region calendar - the Russell Cup, Hester Shield and Winstone Cup.

But on Sunday Marlborough had the weight of numbers, 51 athletes to Richmond's 28, and took the honours 643 points to Richmond's 297, the first time Richmond has been beaten in five years.

The Russell Cup has been contested since 1960 and had never been won by Marlborough.

"It has been a challenge over the years for Marlborough to get kids to travel to these interclub events," club president Steff Southey said.

"Numbers in our club have steadily risen over the years and it has been a personal goal of mine to get the kids to travel and for Marlborough to win a cup/shield.

"Given the success and the enjoyment the kids got out of good competition and winning, I'm confident more will make the trip over the hill to compete."

A stand out performance on Sunday was Lucy Sheat who won all her four events (100m, 200m, 400m and long jump) comprehensively. Ayla Goodwin-Lister also won all her events and is a name to watch out for in future.

Alex Dawson, a newcomer to Marlborough children's athletics, is already making his mark in the record books and won all his events. Jake Southey also had a good day out, comfortably winning his four events and smashing the high jump record in the process.

"Overall we are immensely proud of our club and its athletes," said Southey, "each and every one of those who competed on Sunday contributed to our win."

The Hester Shield was jointly hosted by Motueka and Nelson in mid November while the next meeting on the calendar, the Winstone Cup, will be in Takaka in February.

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- The Marlborough Express

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