Titahi Bay girls shaking up athletics
The Jenkins family from Titahi Bay collected an impressive medal haul at the North Island Colgate Games at Newtown Park this month.
The three sisters – Jess, 11, Becs, 10, and Millie, 8 – from the Olympic athletics club, each topped the Colgate podium, two of them for the first time.
About 1200 children aged from 8 to 14 competed at the Colgate Games, the country’s biggest annual children’s athletics meet.
The two older Jenkins girls won middle-distance medals.
Jess won the 800m, was second in the 1500m, and narrowly missed bronze in the 400m.
She is in the Wellington training squad for the 2016 interprovincial championship.
‘‘You get a lot of recognition in winning gold at Colgates – you get to stand on top of the podium, which I hadn’t actually got to do,’’ Jess said.
Neither had Becs, and she topped the podium twice.
She won the 1500m, was runner up in the 800m, and was in Olympic’s gold medal relay team.
‘‘It feels good when you’re up the front,’’ she said.
Millie, a 2014 divisional long jump winner, was also in a winning Olympic relay team and finished third in her division for long jump.
Athletes under 10 receive flags and compete in distances up to 200m.
Millie said she was looking forward to competing in longer distances as her sisters do.
The sisters’ mother, Katie, was also an outstanding junior athlete. She was a Wellington 800m and 1500m champion for nine years from the age of 8 and was seventh in the national under-18 crosscountry race when she was just 12.
Sport has always played a big part in the Jenkins family. All three girls have won regional cross- country or road titles, including school competitions, and the father, Nigel, was a national badminton representative.
Besides athletics, Jess plays football, Becs swims and Millie plays hockey.
All are also talented singers and musicians – Jess on the violin, Becs on the piano and Millie on the guitar.
There’s a bit of inter-family athletics rivalry. Jess is adamant Becs, 13 months younger, will never head her off.
‘‘She’s not going to beat me ever – she can try,’’ Jess said.
Katie still runs occasionally, but Jess is fast catching up.
‘‘I’m only one minute off Mum’s 5km,’’she said.
Katie said her daughters were gaining fast.
‘‘I think my days are numbered – it won’t be long before they are all kicking dust in my face.’’
Talented trio: Jess, left, Becs and Millie Jenkins, all budding running champions.