School sports: 11 school records crash down

Bethlehem College's senior athletics tournament was held in glorious conditions at the Tauranga Domain last Thursday and Friday and so it was no surprise that some school records were broken.

But it was not expected so many long-standing school records would fall - 11 in total by seven students. The results continue to indicate the improvement in sporting participation and success at Bethlehem College, which is a tribute to the work put in by the sporting talent, the dedicated parents and the hard-working staff under the sports director Christian Hotta.

"Well, apart from Matt Connolly, who broke three of them and was expected to do so, I don't think anyone expected the rest to break so many records," Hotta said.

"Maybe we were thinking Madison Rennie might, and she broke the junior 800m and is a very good long distance runner."

Connolly was outstanding in the senior boys category, breaking the 200m, 400m, and triple jump records, and he came within .01s of setting a new best time in the 100m sprint. To cap an unforgettable day he also finished second in the high jump and long jump.

Rennie smashed the junior girls 800m record by 10s, which was held by her older sister Courtney Rennie, and she knocked a whopping 33 seconds off the old 1500m record.

But if there was an award for the best individual performance on the day, the popular vote among the students would have gone to Jimmy Harwood. The 17-year-old had no previous training in the highly technical high jump and despite jumping in bare feet, with no spikes for added traction and lift, he soared over the bar at 1.86m to set a new school record.

There were many other notable performances during the two days. Ruby Masters broke both the junior girls javelin and discus records by more than 2m, while Michael Bell broke the intermediate boys shot put record and Luke Hardy did the same in the junior boys division. Thomas Bernard won the highly contested senior boys long jump and took the record by .04m, and he also finished second in the triple jump and 100m.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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