The University of the Free State (UFS) dominated affairs in the middle distance at the first Varsity Athletics meeting of the year where they bagged no less than three gold and two silver medals. The meeting took place on Friday 2 March at the Tuks Athletics Stadium in Pretoria.
Middle distances have produced Olympic athletes for Kovsies such as Johan Cronjé and Rynardt van Rensburg in the recent past. The Kovsies produced both the men’s and women’s winners in the 800m. They were Ruan Jonck (1:50.06) and Ts’epang Sello (2:07.15) respectively. Bennie Prinsloo finished in second spot.
In the 1500m for women, two Free State students also took the first two spots. Tyler Beling, who is just18 years old, dominated and finished six seconds (04:39.47) before Lara Orrock (04:45.2) in second place. Orrock is also a first-year. Beling and Orrock were two of eight first-year students in the team of 25 athletes.
Apart from a first place in the men’s varsity mixed medley relay that was unfortunately the only gold medals the Kovsies managed on the night. They ended in fourth position behind Tuks (first), NWU (second) and UJ (third). There were, however, several silver and bronze medals. Hendrik Maartens (second) and Oratile Sethlabi (third) gave good performances in the 200m.
In the long jump for women, Maryke Brits grabbed second place and Norbert Ponisammy did the same for men. Interestingly, both also compete as sprinters. Sefako Mokhosoa was the second best triple jumper and Nadia Meiring and Juan Muller both earned third spots in the hammer throw. The second Varsity Athletics meeting is scheduled for 23 March 2018 in Pretoria.