Western Cape High Jump Take-over led by Poole

Western Cape high jumpers Breyton Poole, left, and Reece Montsumi, right, won the gold medal ,in their respective high jump events, at the South African High Schools’ Championships, in Potchefstroom. Here they are pictured at the Western Cape Schools’ Championships, in Paarl, earlier this month. Photo by Keagan Mitchell.

 

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Western Cape high jumpers Breyton Poole and Reece Montsumi steal the show, at the South African High Schools’ Championships, in Potchefstroom, in the North-West Province, that took place from Thursday March 22 to Saturday March 24.

Poole,18, and Reece,15, who are both pupils at Paul Roos Gymnasium, won the gold medals in the boys’ under 19  and 15 high jump events with a height of 2.21m and  1.95m.

The Grade 12 pupil (Poole) who turned 18 on Friday gave himself a birthday present after his height of 2.21m was new boys’ under-19 SA schools’ record. While Reece ended his track and field season off with a bang.

Poole who won the gold medal at last year’s World Youth Championships in Kenya said despite a tough week after competing in three competitions in a space of one week is proud of his performances and new SA schools’ record.

“The week has been tough but I made the most it.  I am getting better all time but there is always room for improvement,” he said.

Poole from Strand has been on top of his game this season, dominating junior and senior events.

The youngster started his season back in November when he jumped a personal best of 2.25m, at a WP open meet, at the Green Point track, in November. This saw him equal countrymen Jacques Freitag African and SA youth record set in 1999. Last weekend Poole came second with a height of 2.20m at the ASA senior and combined event championships, in Pretoria. A few stays later he also finished second with a height of 2.15 at the Athletix Grand Prix Series, in Paarl.

“I am pleased with my progression despite my busy matric year and all the traveling. It is not easy but the results are showing,” he said.

Poole, a member of Helderberg Harriers athletics club will now turn his attention to the Commonwealth Games, in Australia, next month.

“The plan is to enjoy the Commonwealth Games and gain experience because it will be my first major senior international competition.  To gain a medal would be a bonus,” he said.

Meanwhile, Reece from Bellville South did not only win the gold medal but also equalled his personal best of 1.95m that he jumped at a Western Province Athletics(WPA) open meet, at the Green Point track, in November. However, it was not that simple for the youngster because he was pushed all the way by his Western Cape teammate Gratius Makupini who also finished the competition on 1.95m.  However, due to count backs the youngster from Paul Roos was crowned champion.

Reece who has been a regular in the Western Cape Schools’ team said despite the rainy conditions in Potchefstroom he made the most of the situation.

“It was not the best of conditions but I knew that anything was possible. It’s a dream come true to win the gold medal and I can only get better from here,” he said.

Reece has been in fine form throughout the 2017/2018 track and field season after he jumped a personal best of 1.95 in his first outing of the new season. However, he was hit by injury in January but recovered well and has been consistently been jumping over 1.84m. He is certainly one to watch out for in the future and could follow in the footsteps of schoolmate Poole.

“My season has been a rough one because I started my year off with an injury but I bounced back well. I could have not asked for a better way to end off my season than with a gold medal,” he said.

 

Written by Keagan Mitchell