The two Technical High School Louis Botha long-distance stars, Joseph Mokotedi and Nope Moleyane, seem ready to pocket gold in their respective age groups at the Free State cross country championships, which will be staged in Bloemfontein on 13 August.
Mokotedi scored a runaway victory at the sixth and last Bloemfontein region cross country league in the 6km race for boys 17-years. He clocked a quick time of 19:58 to force Mzwake Tole (Lereko High School, 20:46) into a distant second spot. Mokotedi’s team mate, Kagiso Mpuntai (Louis Botha, 20:46), was no match for the first mentioned either.
Moleyane ran a superb race in the 8km for junior boys, clocking a brisk 25:06 for a clear victory. He left the second athlete, Thabo Thoahlane (Eskom, 25:34), in his wake by close to half a minute. Thabo Sebotsa (Kagisho HS, 27:08) was third.
The talented steeplechase athlete, Lara Orrock (Aliwal North), proved that she is on an upward spiral in the 4km race for girls 15 years. She won in a decent 15:33 and could find herself among the top-10 at the national championships in September in George. Orrock left the respective second and third placed participants, Zelda van der Merwe (Oranje, 17:25) and Tselane Williams (Lereko, 17:51), far behind.
The Free State’s best cross country runner in the woman sections, Kesa Molotsane (Kovsies), opted to take part in the 4km for senior women on Friday and not the 10km. This did not make much of a difference, as she won easily, once again.
Molotsane clocked a fast 14:15 to beat the second athlete, Ingrid Eksteen (Individual, 18:02), by close to four minutes.
Marné Mentz (Kovsies) found herself in a fierce battle in the 4km for women 22 years. She won in 16:36 to pip 17-year-old Mizan Viljoen (Oranje) on the finish line. Viljoen was credited with the same time (16:36) as Mentz.
Anastacius Ontong (Eskom) made his presence felt in the 10km for senior men, but only after a hard fought battle with Tebogo Mofolo (Transnet). Ontong (34:02) beat Mofolo (34:09) by a mere seven seconds, whilst Xolisa Madi (Lereko High School, 34:14) finished close to them in third spot.
The 4km events for senior men and men in the 22-year age group saw some quick winning times for a change. Monnapule Ramabusa (Fast Legs AC, 12:23) had to carry his legs to beat former international cross country athlete, 33-year-old Pule Hlabahlaba (Mangaung AC, 12:25), by only two seconds.
Ruan Jonck (Kovsies, 12:29) had to pull out all the stops to beat Velaphi Qwalane (Lereko High School, 12:34) into second place in the 4km for men 22 years.