Double victory for the Midlands
2018 proved a sensational Comrades year for the Midlands with Bulwer’s Bongmusa Mthembu notching up his third victory in the men’s race and Ann Ashworth, formerly of Howick, causing an upset in the women’s race.
Mthembu, with victories in 2014, 2017 and 2018 will now go down among the race’s all-time greats, but his victory – if not expected – was still on many pundits’ radars.
Ashworth, although highly rated for a gold medal, was not on too many lists as a likely winner, and her victory had now catapulted her into the ultra-distance running limelight. Come next year, her name will be right up at the top of the list of those who could cross the line first in PMB.
She has had a much improved 2018 overall, finishing fifth in the Two Oceans Marathon and second in the Loskop Marathon.
It was as Ann Boniwell that the 2018 women’s race winner attended Howick High and her former school has proudly embraced her achievement, drawing attention to her outstanding all-round record when she was a pupil in the Midlands.
Ann matriculated at Howick High School in 2001 when she achieved 5As in her matric results and was awarded academic honours and the home economics subject prize. She was awarded the Kathlyn Trophy for All-round Achievement in both sport and academics and was also the Sportswomen of the Year in 2001.
Ann was a school prefect and Captain of Oatlands House.
In addition, she captained the Cross Country team, achieved school honours and provincial colours and was awarded full colours for Drama.
She was also an outstanding swimmer and in 2001 was the recipient of a Gold Badge Award, the highest honour which can be bestowed on a pupil at Howick High School.
This was only awarded where pupils received full colours in Academics, Sport and Cultural Activities.
In her school testimonial, the then principal – Andrew Magni – described Ann as: ‘… a most determined and motivated young lady who is most enthusiastic about the aspects of school life which are closest to her heart. She is always polite and well-behaved and her loyalty to Howick High cannot be faulted. A pupil of integrity, she possesses a confidence beyond her years.”
With regards to sport, he noted: “She trains unceasingly and is only satisfied with the very best.” – Meander Chronicle Reporter/Additional information provided by Howick High