Whanganui High School has remarkable depth and large numbers joining its track and field ranks despite being in rebuilding mode.
Many of the school's top nationally and internationally-ranked athletes have left school and moved on yet a highlight of the annual in-house championships at Cooks Gardens last Thursday suggested more WHS names will make the headlines again, and soon.
One who remains in the limelight is Year 11student Maggie Jones who has been named in the New Zealand Schools team to compete at the Australian Championships in Sydney. Jones will compete in the 100m and 400m hurdles in Sydney.
The sport is growing at the school and for the first time in many years heats were required for all grades in the sprints leading to some great match-ups at last Thursday's in-house championships.
In the senior girls ranks Renee Teers took home the sprint triple, with wins in the 100m, 200m and 400m over the well-performed Kyra Engel in the short sprints, and Rebekah Phillips in the 400m. Phillips also featured in jumps taking out both the senior girls long and triple jumps.
Sophie Andrews took out the senior girls' throws triple of javelin, discus and shot with her main competition in each of these coming from Kara Adrole.
• Whanganui features strongly in post NZ Schools athletics championship analysis
• Funding to bolster Whanganui High School efforts in summer sports tournament and to help form foundations for the future
• A look back at Whanganui athletics to give insight into the future
• Sport Whanganui round up of college sport focusing on Whanganui High School
In the senior boys Jakob Moorhouse was upset in his usual 400m by a fast-improving Flynn Johnston but came back to take out the senior boy's sprint double in close finishes over Nathan Cohen and Hendrik Joubert. Flynn also took out the senior boys 800m for a great double.
Vincent Ye stepped back onto the track after a break from athletics and immediately into the winner's circle taking out four titles with the senior boys triple and long jumps, javelin and sprint hurdles.
In the intermediate boys' sprints Vincent Walters, Donovan James-Bell, Tyler Cox, Isaac Willis Croft and Jack Payne fought out some very close battles for the titles.
Nat Kirk impressed winning the 800m, 1500m double, plus the javelin and was second in the long jump, while Keane Metekingi dominated the jumps overall with wins in the high jump, triple jump and third in the long jump.
In the intermediate girls' grade High School's four NZ secondary schools sprint medallists Casie Glentworth, Charlotte Baker, Maggie Jones and Paris Munro fought out some thrilling sprint races with Glentworth winning the 100m by the narrowest of margins with all four finishing within .1 of a second. Jones also showed her undoubted potential by taking out the high jump, long jump, sprint hurdle and 200m.
Junior boys' highlights were Thomas Gowan taking out the 300/800m double, Allan Thongskul winning the sprint double and Alistair Cameron winning the high jump, shot put and taking second in the javelin.
The junior girls' grade titles were well spread around showing good depth.
Sinai Waimarama highlighted the throws while Estelle Murray, Teressa and Carrie Rennie, Tara Knight, Charlotte Hardy and Rebekah Bayler were the pick of the track/jumps athletes.
In addition to the individual events there were some great finishes in the 4x100m house relays with great battles down to the line.
Whanganui High School athletes now look forward to the Whanganui Secondary School Championships in March where a team of more than 80 athletes will take part.