Figtree High claims top athletics title


Figtree High School is Australia's top athletics school after claiming the national schools knockout final in Townsville.

Already state champions, Figtree beat six of Australia's top track and field schools - Knox Grammar (NSW), Nudgee College (Queensland), Maribyrnong Secondary College (Victoria), St Peter's College (South Australia), The Hutchins School (Tasmania) and Kormilda College (Northern Territory) for the national crown in the junior boys (under 15s) division.

"The medal ceremony was a very special occasion for all involved," Figtree High coach and teacher Stephen Smart said.

"Everyone around the country in the world of athletics well and truly now knows who Figtree High School is."

The championships featured teams of six in seven events: 100m, with Jarrod Twigg and Momolu Sirleaf representing Figtree High, plus the 800m (Joshua Head and Sam Oyston); 100m hurdles (Twigg); long jump (Sirleaf); shot put (Josh Byrne); javelin (Matthew Hobbs) and 4x200m relay (Sirleaf, Oyston, Head and Twigg).

Twigg gave Figtree a flying start, winning the 110m hurdles with two flights to spare and collecting 32 points for the Illawarra school.

Preceding the national schools final, 15-year-old Twigg set a PB in winning the under 16s Australian All Schools Athletics Championship, while Teghan Barklay made the final of the under 16s girls long jump, battling injury to finish seventh.

In the next national schools final event, the shot put, Byrne put in a great last throw to claim third spot (30 points) for Figtree.

In the following event the 800m, Oyston ran a PB by seven seconds in his heat to finish sixth, while in heat two, Head ran brilliantly to win in a PB of 2min 4.42sec.

With the overall results down to the best times, not heat finishing positions, Oyston was ninth and Figtree led the competition after three events.

In the javelin, Hobbs threw a massive PB of 30.68m to finish sixth (27 points).

The blue-ribbon 100m followed, with Twigg (11.39sec) a heat winner.

Sirleaf placed third (11.97) and sixth overall on combined times from the two heats.

With two events remaining Figtree (204 points) had a narrow lead over Knox 199, Maribyrnong 195 and Nudgee 194.

In the long jump, Sirleaf performed well in difficult conditions to claim second spot (31 points), enough for Figtree to take an eight-point lead over Knox with only the 4x200m relay to finish off.

The Figtree team confidently finished second behind Knox to claim the national crown.

Mr Smart said the boys did a magnificent job and were great ambassadors for the school and the region, while the parents lent great support in organising the trip.

The school also thanked its sponsors and supporters.

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