INGRID ARENDSE of Harold Cressy High School in Cape Town was a beautiful and elegant sprinter in the late 1970s.
She was probably the most naturally-built sprinter of all ladies’ sprinters that one has seen grace an athletics track; tall, strong and powerful on the shoulders and legs.
She held her composure and style to the end.
This seemed to have worked in Ingrid’s favour and combined with her terrific fitness levels, she held several Western Province Senior Schools Sports Union (WPSSSU) and South African Senior Schools Sports Association (SASSSA) sprints records.
At the champion of champions in 1979, Arendse, 16, won both the 100m and 200m races on the slow grass track of Athlone Stadium.
Her girls under 17 SASSSA 200m record of 25,7 seconds set in 1979 was only beaten by Odessa Krause (Swarts) of Scottsville High in 1991 (25,67 secs). Krause was a phenomenal sprinter.
By the time Ingrid competed in the open section, she ran into her cousin Suezette Arendse of Hewat Training College (formerly representing Boland at SASSSA level) in 1980.
The younger Ingrid won the 100m. The seasoned Ronel Juries of Hewat won the 200m. Suezette won the long jump and would go on to become the sprint and long champion in subsequent years.
After high school, Ingrid embarked on a journey of academic excellence, culminating in a doctorate.
Professor Ingrid Arendse (Miller) was the registrar of the University of the Western Cape and she was destined to become the vice-chancellor academic of the university.
Ingrid Arendse passed away on 21 December 2013.
She was 51.
* She leaves behind her husband Roderick Miller, a medical doctor, and their two children.