The breaking of a school athletics record set in more than half a century years ago and several athletes performing at their best, were amongst the highlights for The Armidale School at the Athletic Association of Great Public Schools athletics championships in Sydney on 9 May.
Competing against some of the best schoolboys in NSW, Joe Makeham came third in the 17 years 1500m in a personal best time of 4:11:21, nearly four seconds faster than last year, when he won the under 16s event. In doing so, he also set a new TAS record, easily beating the 4:24:07 run by RJ Fulloon back in 1958 – previously the equal oldest record on the school’s books.
Makeham’s effort was just one of numerous personal best times recorded by the TAS team, which competes against considerably larger schools. Others included Luke O’Donoghue placing fourth in the Open 200m in 22.52, Lachlan Knowles also fourth in the 14 years, 400m in 56.91, and Max Qorovarua, foruth in the under 13 long jump leaping 4.62m. Overall ninety per cent of the boys competed to their best.
“It was an amazing run from Joe Makeham who led at the start of the race and set a very fast tempo, only to be passed in the last 300m. That didn’t deter him as he continued to drive as hard as he possibly could to the finish line and in doing so shattering the existing school record of 50 years, which is a real tribute to the tenacity that finished in such a strong matter,” MIC Athletics Mr Jim Pennington said.
“The boys showed tremendous fortitude given the logistical hardships in getting there from all over the state from our school Excursion Week, and so many personal best results is testament to their endeavour and what we espouse at this school.”
At a school assembly the following week, Makeham was presented with a new trophy for best performance at the meet, while Athletics captain Ben Broster was awarded an inaugural cup for contribution to the sport.
The team of 22 athletes competed in a range of track and field events against boys from TAS’ eight fellow GPS schools – The King’s School, Scot’s College, Newington College, Shore School, St Ignatius College Riverview, St Joseph’s College Hunters Hill, Sydney Grammar School and Sydney Boys’ High.