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BNAC’s Kotze happy with performance in cross-country debut

She finished in third place in 11:49, behind winner Zanele Mzizi (11:32 and runner-up Amila Tshetshe (11:44).

Benoni Northerns Athletic Club (BNAC) junior runner Carmen Kotze laid the marker in her first elite cross-country race during the third CGA Cross-Country League meeting at the Kwa-Thema Sports Complex on May 18.

After labouring around the meandering course, Kotze completed the U13 girls’ 3km race in third place, dipping under 12 minutes in the day’s first race.

Carmen Kotze ran her first elite cross-country race during the third CGA Cross-Country League meeting on May 18.

With the nerves settled, Kotze got off the blocks well, sticking with the front bunch. She was in the top two after 1km, but halfway through the race, fatigue crept in, and she went down to third.

She hung on to third place and finished with an incredible sprint to complete the race in 11:49.

“At the start, I told myself, I can do this, and when I hit the course, I knew I could do it. I tried to catch up to the winner but got tired. I felt good but could’ve done better. I will try again in the next race,” she said.

Dominique Broughton from the BNAC.

The incredible Zanele Mzizi won in 11:32, and Amila Tshetshe grabbed the second spot in 11:44.

Kotze’s teammates, Bokamoso Nonyane and Siyanda Madlabane, were in a league of their own, dominating their fields in their categories.

Nonyane led the boys’ U10 2km race from the gun to the finish, winning in 07:11, while his teammate, Bajamile Malibe, was third in 07:25.

The BNAC’s Bokamoso Nonyane won the U10 boys’ 2km race.
Siyanda Madlabane won his third race of the season.

Madlabane again showed the gulf in class in the boys’ U13 4km. He dominated from the start to win in 13:39, 42 seconds ahead of his teammate, Thabiso Nthombela, who clocked 14:21 for the runner-up spot.

Dominique Broughton placed third in the U8 girls’ 1km, while Kaden Price and Ricardo de Ascencao finished fourth and fifth respectively in the U9 boys’ 2km race.

Anele Skwatsha clocked 14:08 for sixth place in the U15 boys’ 4km.

The BNAC’s Anele Skwatsha finished sixth in the U15 boys’ 4km race.
Ricardo de Ascencao.

“All our athletes performed well. I’m happy. But credit to the parents for their constant support. We do our race plans together, and when one of our own is defeated, we all go back to the drawing board to plan again,” said BNAC coach Nkanyiso Mthembu.

“We wouldn’t have the results we achieved today if it were not for the help we get from the parents.”

The Benoni High Athletic Club (BHAC) top runner, Bronwyn Nel, continued her superb form when she again won the junior women’s 6km race, winning in a time of 23:50. Behind her was Gift Nkosi (24:06) of East Athletic Club (EAC).

Azelia Zitha won the U17 girls’ 4km race.
The BHAC’s Kiana Pepler was second in the U17 girls’ 4km race.

Azelia Zitha of the EAC won the U17 girls’ 4km in 15:35, 24 seconds ahead of the runner-up, Kiana Pepler from the BHAC. Zitha’s teammate, Nqobile Maseko, completed the top three in 16:53.

“I’m happy for my first win. I’ve always wanted to win and make my parents proud. The goal is to qualify for the nationals,” said Zitha.

Thato Sesoko of the East Athletic Club (left) in the U15 girls’ 4km.

Kate van Jaarsveld won the sub-veteran women’s 4km event in 16:28.

The next league meeting is in Dobsonville on June 1.

Also Read: Locals perform well in league

Also Read: Benonians deliver at cross-country league



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