Liam Webb has the unusual distinction of leading the Wellington College athletics team at the McEvedy Shield for the second consecutive year. What’s more Wellington College is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2017.
“It’s a huge honour to lead the team again. I found out at Nationals in 2015 I would be the McEvedy captain in 2016 and that went really well so I am delighted to continue,” Webb enthuses.
Webb has never won a race at McEvedy, but is ranked inside the Top 10 nationally in the 400m. Why does Webb believe he has been chosen as skipper ahead of athletes with more success at the McEvedy?
“McEvedy is different from most athletics meets because it’s more team orientated and there is the pressure of the crowd. As captain I have to support all the athletes, especially those that get nervous before the start of their events. I try to make sure the team sticks to their routines and focus on the job,” Webb explains.
Last year Wellington was well and truly focussed on the job at hand cursing to a 61 point victory, the biggest winning margin by any school since 2004.
“I think it will be much tougher this year. Town had a huge victory at Old Boys Cup and the other schools will be motivated to improve,” Webb believes.
However Webb is confident Wellington can win for the third year in a row and cites depth in the junior grades as a potentially telling difference.
“We have some really good juniors coming through and Josh Williams who is a year young can compete in the under-14’s which is big because he went really well last year,” Webb reveals.
Williams will compete in the 100 and 200m as well as the long jump, shot put and javelin.
The performances of juniors, Felix Williamson and Harry Jones were memorable in 2016 as well. Williamson smashed the field in the under-14 1500m and 3000m while Jones won the under-14 400m, 800m and hurdles.
Webb is a good shot of winning the open 400m, but Joshua Nairne from St. Pats Town is a tough opponent. Webb boast a PB of 50.4s run at Nationals last year, Nairne has run a 50.2s.
“It will be a tough race, but I am feeling good. I have raced against Josh several times and they were always pretty close,” Webb says.
Webb broke his wrist in Year 10, abandoning cricket to focus on athletics. He is a prefect at the college and would like to pursue a career in sports management or commerce after school.
Evidently to coincide with the sesquicentennial celebrations Wellington College is building a new school hall and trophy cabinet. Webb laughs he wants to be the first McEvedy captain to put the Shield in its new place.
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