Brother and sister Sam and Sophie Mace have dominated their age groups in the throws this year, writes Emily Moss
Sibling rivalry seems to be working wonders for Sophie and Sam Mace. The two Walton throwers both finished the year top of the UK rankings for their respective age groups, having claimed English Schools and England Athletics titles.
Seventeen-year-old Sophie was undefeated in her age group in the discus in 2015, winning English Schools, England Under-17, UK School Games, SIAB Schools International and Southern titles, the only blotches on her CV coming when throwing up an age group and claiming bronze in the England Under-20 Championships and Southern Under-20 Inter Counties.
Finishing her season on a high with a PB of 47.35m at the Southern Championships, the talented teenager not only went to tenth on the UK all-time under-17 list, but also broke the Surrey under-17 record, which had stood for 25 years, meaning she now holds more than 20 county records.
Reflecting on the season, she says: “I was very pleased to win my third English Schools, as it is such a high-profile competition and I gained England honours and a nice new tracksuit! I felt very honoured and proud to be representing England at the SIAB Schools International. The weekend was an amazing experience and, although it wasn’t my best performance, it still felt amazing to win for the second year running.”
Fifteen-year-old Sam, meanwhile, got into throwing due to following in his sister’s footsteps, but he is already making a name for himself. After winning the English Schools hammer with a Surrey record, Sam felt he had achieved his target for the year.
Although he was disappointed with silver in the England Under-15 Championships, he bounced back to take gold in the discus and ended the year topping the UK rankings with a Surrey record 59.87m in the hammer and occupying second spot with 47.91m in the discus.
“I like all the throws, but my two favourites are discus and hammer. My hammer has improved so much due to my winter training with my coach Mark Wiseman, where we focused on “drills and skills” and getting fitter,” explains Sam.
Sophie and Sam train together at Windsor three times a week and do drills in between in the family’s front room at home. Their mum Sabrina explains: “We often worry about the light fittings and ornaments. Often there are chalk marks on the patio where they have drawn themselves a discus circle.”
As for the sibling rivalry, Sabrina reveals: “Both inspire and encourage each other and it is fair to say that both will claim bragging rights when they believe they have outperformed the other. This often leads to some very entertaining conversations between the two on journeys home from competitions.”
As the older sister who boasts more records and titles to her name, Sophie adds: “I find it a bit annoying that Sam is now taller than me and can throw further, but I can still beat him in an arm wrestle! Otherwise I feel very proud of Sam and his performances so far.”
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