Chichester athletes aim to start 2015 with county medals

Chichester Runners will be out for cross-country success at Bexhill this weekend
Chichester Runners will be out for cross-country success at Bexhill this weekend

Chichester aim to send their strongest-ever team to the Sussex cross-country championships at Bexhill this Saturday.

Following good form so far this season in the league, they can be optimistic about improving on last year’s medal haul of four individual and four team medals.

With the under-11 race a non-championship event, the medal action starts with the under-13 girls’ race, where Olivia Wiseman will aim to improve on her bronze medal from last year – knowing she will face serious opposition from the Hastings athletes on their home course.

Chichester’s under-13 boys won bronze last year but with top placer Leo Stallard now in the under-15s and top league finisher Harry Sage unavailable, much will depend on Ned Potter and Jeremy Sharp to spearhead their challenge.

Ben Collins and Luke Campbell will hope to keep with the leading pack in the under-15s and should give Chichester a chance of a team medal – as will the two under-17 teams, with Rose Ellis aiming to repeat her individual silver medal of last year and supported by a strong squad including Charlotte Reading and Amber Westron.

Casey Keates will be another aiming to repeat his inspired run of 2014 but will be without silver medallist Harry Leleu, now in the under-20 ranks.

In the two senior races at the end of the programme, Chichester will be without talisman James Baker, recovering from a fall on a training run, and Rosie Hiles, top finisher for the silver medal winning women’s team from last year.

Fay Cripps and Jane Harrop will lead another strong women’s squad hoping to get among the medals.

The action starts at 11.15am.