The athletics success story that is Ntuthuko Ndimande just continues and he can, according to Jeppe’s master in charge of athletics, Brendan Gittins, probably now be regarded as the school’s greatest ever athlete.
And Mr Gittins should know. He watched on Saturday as Ntuthuko removed the last of his own long-standing school records from the books, at the Grand Prix meeting at KES.
His 1:55,2 in the under-16 800m bettered Gittins’ time, set in 2002 by two seconds, and he went on to smash the 1500m record, that has been there since 1972, by more than 12 seconds.
Those feats mean that he now holds the all school records for under-14, under-15 and under-16 over 800m and 1500m, and the times are so good, according to Mr Gittins, that they are not likely to be broken any time soon.
Ntuthuko also hold three interhigh records – the open 3000m, and under-14 and under-15 800m.
He is a specialist athlete who has competed at national and international level. Next term the Jeppe Elite Athletes programme resumes and he will be running against athletes from all over the country.
He loves running, he says, and is pleased that he can make a contribution to the school. “The younger athletes look up to me and I hope I am a good example to them in training,” he says. “The support and recognition I get from everyone at Jeppe in very important to me.”
There are two big international events next year – the Youth Olympics and the World Junior Championships – that he is looking forward to. “The Youth Olympics are under-18, and I have already run a qualifying time in the 800m for that, and the Junior Champs are under-19, and I’m close to that time,” he says. “So, there is plenty of hard work ahead for me.”
But before that there is the boys schools interhigh this weekend, and if everything goes to plan, another chapter in the Ntuthuko Ndimande success story.