Led by Collen Mulaudzi and Nicole Louw, a group of Endurocad athletes exceeded their expectations at the ASA Cross Country Trials in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Collen Mulaudzi is slowly but surely carving out a name for himself. Over the past two years the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) athlete stepped on the podium on numerous occasions, and this weekend was no different. Combined with the trials were the University Sport South Africa (USSA) cross country trials, and he was the second student-athlete to cross the line in the men’s 10km. Bouncing back to form, the University of Western Cape’s cross country prodigy Rhowaldo Ratz was the first Western Province athlete to finish the men’s 10km race. Having previously represented South Africa in this discipline, it came as no surprise when he finished fifteenth overall in a class line-up. He was the fourth student-athlete to cross the line, and was therefore included in the team that will represent SA at the FISU World University Cross Country Championships in St Gallen, Switzerland in April. A resurging Anthony Timoteus, also of UWC, finished only two spots behind his compatriot to earn his spot on the team.
Caleb Beukes (KPMG) and Nicole Louw (KPMG) led the Endurocad charge in the junior men’s and women’s races. Finishing eighth in a strong 8km line-up that included the likes of Dais Malebane (AGN) and Pakiso Mthembu (AFS), the future looks bright for the Zwartkop High School scholar who was one of the younger athletes heading into the race. Louw, though, once again proved she is a force to reckon with when she finished third, only three seconds behind the winner Prudence Sekgadiso. Nicole louw and Casey Bosman (fifth) did enough to secure their places in the SA squad to the 2019 World Cross Country Championships. Yandiswa Shange (ninth), Lyndi Roelofse (thirteenth) and Thobile Vilakazi (fourteenth) were also among the top finishers on the day.
Athletics South Africa will use the results of the trials to select a team to compete at the CAA Southern Region Cross Country Championships on Saturday 3rd March 2018 at Gymkhaya Sports Fields, Vacoas, Mauritius and the CAA African Cross Country Championships on 17 March 2018 in Chlef, Algeria.