The North-West University won their second Varsity Athletics title, topping the table by sealing the victory in their own backyard at the Kenneth McArthur Stadium in Potchefstroom on Friday evening.
It was another night of record-breaking action in the premier university athletics competition in the country.
NWU brought Tuks’ three-year reign to an end scoring a total of 31 277 points after winning both legs in Potchefstroom and Stellenbosch. Tuks finished second overall with 31 087 and UJ in third with 30 870.
North-West University long jumper Eljone Kruger was named Victrix Ludorum breaking her Varsity record with a winning leap of 6.49m, improving her previous mark by four centimetres.
“I’m just so glad to be able to do it in front of the home crowd…it really was an amazing event,” Kruger said.
“I’m so glad to be healthy, jumping and I am looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Locals came out in their droves to support the NWU team at the Kenneth McArthur Stadium adding to the electric atmosphere.
Tuks athlete Aynsley van Graan finally got her hands on the Varsity Athletics record in the women’s 1500m posting a winning time of four minutes, 23.81 seconds (4:23.81).
Van Graan was denied the record a fortnight ago due to issues with the timing system in Stellenbosch but she made sure the mark belonged behind her name this time.
She took just over three seconds off the previous record Kovsies’ Danel set in 2014.
“I’m very happy about the record, last time didn’t count but I am happy to be out there again,” Van Graan said.
“We started out slower than I had hoped so I had to work harder in the second lap.”
Short-sprint hurdler Tiaan Kleynhans produced one of the highlights on his home track breaking the Varsity Athletics record.
He won the 110m hurdles in a time of 13.73 chopping 0.19s off the previous record held by Tshepo Lefete.
Kleynhans, who is coached by South African hurdles legend Shaun Bownes, was in a class of his own with his nearest rival Mpho Tladi following in second place, in 14.57.
“It feels great, I’ve been struggling with a few injuries but it feels great running at my home field. It is just one great experience!” Kleynhans said.
The men’s 200m was billed as one of the highlights of the evening which did not disappoint as local favourite Chederick van Wyk and Madibaz speedster Luxolo Adams went toe-to-toe.
At the Stellenbosch meeting, Van Wyk and Adams shared the spoils in the half-lap sprint but the night belonged to the Madibaz athlete.
Adams dipped in a time of 20.71 seconds just 0.04s ahead of Van Wyk in second place with Theodor Young of NWU bagging the bronze in 20.82.
Van Wyk went one better in the 100m blitzing to victory in a time of 10.23.
“I’m super excited, it is a big season’s best, it is just short of my personal best, so I am really proud,” Van Wyk said.
The NWU athlete produced a stunning anchor leg in the 4x100m relay racing to victory stopping the clock on 39.81.
Tuks middle-distance ace Theuns Ehlers produced another impressing run bagging his second Varsity Athletics title of the season.
Ehlers was on fire in Potchefstroom effectively playing the role of the rabbit winning the race with some good front running.
He crossed the line in a time of one minute, 47.92 seconds (1:47.92) with Duran Faro finishing second behind him in a time of 1:48.94.
Hammer throw sensation Tshepang Makhete smashed the Varsity Athletics record in his specialist event coming close to his personal best with a heave of 71.26 metres.
Local high-jumper Mpho Links claimed his second Varsity victory of the season with a best leap of 2.15m on countback.
Youth world champion Breyton Poole had to be content with second place for the second meeting in a row, recording a best jump of 2.15m.
Former youth world champion Werner Visser continued his sizzling form in the men’s discus throw landing a mammoth winning heave of 59.02m.
Visser smashed the Varsity record in Stellenbosch two weeks ago with a throw of 59.57m.
By Ockert de Villiers