Athletics: A big leap forward

By Ben Guild

Jimmy Harwood was the surprise package at the Bay of Plenty Secondary Schools Athletics Championships held at Tauranga Domain on Wednesday.

The Bethlehem College student, who has only taken up long jump in the last month, surprised almost everyone - including himself.

He smashed his own school record of 1.86cm - set in bare feet on a whim at the college's athletics day - by clearing 1.90cm in a shiny new pair of track shoes before narrowly missing a Bay record.

He almost seemed embarrassed by the attention and questions of how long he'd been jumping.

"I haven't," said Harwood. "I just showed up to athletics and broke the record. I knew I could jump a little bit but not like this.

"Hopefully I can get some training and get a lot better."

He was even less certain about qualifying for the Waikato/Bay of Plenty athletics champs at the same venue on March 16.

"I guess so, yeah, but I'm not too sure. I don't really know much about it to be honest."

Judging by the way athletics officials were crowding him after competing, it seems he will soon know much more about athletics.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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