St Peter’s senior girls’ relay team takes on the state

The dedication of the senior girls’ relay team from St Peter’s Primary School in Port Macquarie was recognised, as they competed against the best in the state at the NSWPSSA Primary Athletics Championship, held at the Sydney Olympic Park Athletic Centre on Thursday.

“The girls’ performance was outstanding on the day, achieving fifth in their heat. Unfortunately, their time was not fast enough to make the finals. However, we’re so proud that the girls reached state competition level and this result was only because of all their hard work,” St Peter’s Sports’ Coordinator, Jeff Arkinstall said.

Layla Stewart, Josie Boys, Claire Pieren and Lucy Randall from Year’s 5 and 6 (aged 11 to 12 years), have been on a winning trajectory since they were selected to represent St Peter’s in the senior girls’ relay team at the school athletics carnival in May this year.

“After selection the girls trained for months and first competed at the Hastings Zone Athletics Carnival in August. They finished first and broke the relay time record held since 2012,” Mr Arkinstall said.

After this early taste of success, they moved to the next level to compete at the Lismore Diocese Athletics Carnival in August, again finishing first and breaking the 2013 record.

In October, the team went to Sydney and finished third at the Polding Athletics Carnival, competing against a dozen of the best relay teams from Tweed Heads to North Sydney.

“Now they’ve had the opportunity to compete against the best in the state at the NSWPSSA Championships. With 39 teams competing in the senior girls’ relay, it was very competitive. They had a great race, their baton changes were very smooth, and they ran home strongly to finish fifth in the heat,” Mr Arkinstall said.

“To have made it this far and to have all of the work they have put in this year recognised, is certainly something the girls and their families should be proud of,” Mr Arkinstall said.

Two St Peter’s boys also competed in the NSWPSSA in Sydney, with Blake Johnston achieving a personal best time and making the semi-finals in the 100m, and Noah Pociask throwing very well in the shotput event.

Mr Arkinstall says these successes would not have been possible without the support of numerous St Peter’s families across a wide range of sports.

“It’s a wonderful culture we have at our school and we can’t thank them enough. Not only are these families passionate about a specific sport, they provide expert coaching and support to the students.”

“I’d particularly like to mention Erica Nelson, Nicole Johnson and Karlee West, who have been supporting our athletics team since May. Their knowledge of the finer details of athletics has been outstanding, and they are a huge reason why St Peter’s has been successful in athletics over many years.”