Ti­tahi Bay girls shak­ing up ath­let­ics

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By DAVE CRAMP­TON

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.’’

Photo: KATIE JENK­INS

Tal­ented trio: Jess, left, Becs and Mil­lie Jenk­ins, all bud­ding run­ning cham­pi­ons.

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