The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (also known as Madibaz) boast a few of the country’s top athletes and will be eagerly anticipating Friday nights Varsity Athletics meeting, hoping to cause a major upset this year.
The Madibaz athletics team has not lived up to their potential and will need to walk into UJ Stadium with a renewed mindset on Friday evening. Star athletes who will be wearing the Madibaz stripes with pride will be the first-year Sport Management student Cayla Seddon, NMMU and Eastern Province shot put and discus star Ischke Senekal, 52-second 400m hurdler Nico Bakkes and national student-athlete Mariano Eesou.
Mariano will have to dip under his 14:30 personal best 5000m time in order to win the men’s 5000m race whilst Cayla Seddon will be trying to better her 13.87sec 100mH personal best to qualify for this year’s World Junior Championships. Senekal, on the other hand, has been very consistent when it comes to Varsity Athletics and national championships podium positions, so she will be satisfied with nothing less than another podium position.
And anchoring the team’s field events will be the versatile high- and long-jumper Garth Ellis, who, if he manages over 2.05metres in the men’s high jump event, will definitely stand a chance to step on that much-envied podium.
A great team effort from the coastal team might just see them surprise themselves. Also adding value to the team will be former South African junior 800m champion Annica Coetzee, 12-metre triple jump champion Maruska Janse van Rensburg, middle distance front-runner Jamie-lee Schlemmer and quick-out-of-the-blocks 400m sprinter Anusckha Asaam.
The men who will be looking to leave their marks are: 200m sprinter Jade Schutte, 10.40sec 100m star Dale Williams and 800m star Dylan van Wyk. The men’s 100m sprinting team, which consists of abovementioned Dale Williams, 10.8second runner Aidan Tuohy, 10.7second Levert Pieterse and possibly Jade Schutte, looks to be a deadly 4X100m relay team.
The NMMU team consists of well-conditioned athletes who were strategically selected for each event and they will be looking to put points on the board at every given opportunity, and this how they could possibly cause a major upset by winning or ending up on the podium on Friday evening.
NMMU Madibaz team:
Men: Jade Schutte (200m/4X100m), Garth Ellis (High Jump), Nico Bakkes (400mH/4X100m), Dale Williams (100m/200m), Divan Manuel (Long Jump/ Triple Jump), Levert Pieterse (100m/4X100m), Marianio Eesou (5000m), Ulrich Senekal (Discus/Shot Put), Aidan Tuohy (100m/4X100m), Thando Loliwe (200m/4X100m), David de Villiers (400m/Medley), Dylan van Wyk (800m/Medley).
Women: Cayla Seddon (100mH/100m/4X100m), Ischke Senekal (Discus/Shot Put), Cherise Sims (3000m), Zanri Strydom (100m/4X100m), Maruska Janse van Rensburg (Triple Jump/4X100m), Anita Madike (Long Jump/4X100m), Annica Coetzee (800m/Medley), Shannon Scholtz (200m/Medley), Anushcka Assam (400m/4X100m), Jamie-Lee Schlemmer (1500m).
By Reginald Hufkie