MONDALE High speedster Sandra Petersen (main photograph) is on her way to victory in the 100 metres during the A-Section inter-schools athletics meeting at a windswept Athlone Stadium.
Petersen was the standout sprinter/long jumper of her generation.
She ran with power and speed and led a marvellous group of junior ladies sprinters, including Yolanda Titus, Vanessa Orr, Amiena Dollie, Maureen van der Ross and Lesley Ferdinando.
It’s very easy to be swept away by Suezette Arendse, Sandra Petersen and Odessa Krause, but Yolanda Titus of Bishop Lavis ran with deceptive speed.
The younger Titus had a good temperament and was able to beat Petersen, more than once, over the longer sprint, the 200 metres. Like the other three sprint/long jumpers, Titus was a more than handy long jumper, a jumper with control and poise. It goes without saying that all these girls held sprint and long jump records at one time or other during their careers.
Yes, one might have enthused about the others, but Titus, as a 14-year-old girl, held the SA senior schools girls under 15 100m (12,1 secs) and 200m (26,1) records in 1985 at the height of the political unrest in South Africa. Geraldine Pillay had equalled Titus’ 200m record in 1992 and went on to enjoy an international career.
There is another girl’s athlete by the name of Noreen Julie whose name is plastered all over the record books in the long jump and sprints. Julie recorded an SA senior schools distance of 5,87m in the girls under 16 age group in 1992— by far the best distance in all of the junior age groups.
Julie was a pupil at Mondale High for a few weeks, before moving on to Westridge High where she had showcased her talents.
In an international environment, and with the necessary dedication and motivation, these girls would not have disgraced themselves on the world stage.