Chichester juniors are too hot for hosts at Guildford

editorial image

Chichester’s juniors kept up their fine start to the season with an emphatic win at Guildford in the face of a strong showing from the home club and the challenge of a talented Portsmouth squad.

With a total of 564 points Chichester finished well clear of Guildford on 499, with Portsmouth third with 455.

Once again it was a fine team performance from all 55 athletes which was the main factor in the margin of victory.

The most improved age group from the first match earlier this month at Winchester were the under-17s, especially the girls, who totally dominated proceedings.

There was a welcome return for high-jumper Isobel Brown, who scored a double win with Nathalie Godden after earlier supporting Godden to a hurdles first and third, with Godden running a new lifetime best of 12.5secs for the 80m event.

The middle-distance trio from the first match of Lucy Thraves, Georgina Warner and Polly Hounscome were joined by Beth Garland for Chichester’s best-ever showing at a league match.

Similarly Tessa Shipton, Annabelle Hellyer, Abi Humphrey and Sophie Atkinson gave the team a strong line-up in the sprints with Bea Venetia and Alex Fryday covering the 300m to good effect in one of the best-quality races of the match.

Louise Simac returned to the team and recorded a double win in discus and javelin and was well supported by the rest of the squad in the throws.

The under-17 boys were depleted in numbers but their individual performances more than made up for that.

Freddie Ranson and Davi Guimeres scored a one-two in the long jump with Ranson’s winning jump of 5.79m a personal best, this after the pair had lined up in a fiercely-contested 100m and Ranson had run a sub-55sec 400m in blustery conditions.

Danny Butlin was just edged out in a fast 200m in 24.3sec for second place but showed his versatility by winning the hammer.

Jamie Wilcock spearheaded the throws with support from the rest of the squad. Ollie Pickersgill and Callum Adams shouldered the responsibility of the middle-distance events, culminating in a steeplechase win for Pickersgill, while Adams deserves special credit for tackling the 1,500m, 3,000m and steeplechase in the same afternoon with a soaking in the water jump at the end a welcome relief.

For the under-15 boys, the core squad from the first match were augmented by Tom Ackerman, who recorded a 400m and high-jump double, and Mitchell Rippon, who supported well in the high jump then came a close second to James Amos in scoring maximum points for Chichester in the hurdles.

Amos and Collins Alfred spearheaded the sprints while the reliable middle-distance quartet of Josh James, Dan Eeles, Ed Gerwat and Harry Lyne again showed the way in the 800m and 1,500m.

George Humphrey was in fine form in the throws with Peter Thomas ably supporting while James showed his versatility with a second javelin victory in a row.

The girls and boys’ under-13 squads found the standard of competition a real challenge but fought bravely for points.

There were no outright wins, but several of the team showed real promise. Joe Jones and James Austin sprinted well and achieved their best result with second and third in the long jump.

Joel Applebee gained another second in the shot, Josh Eeles was a close third in the 800m, supported well by Sam Reading, while Zac Hurst and Brodie Keates posted good times in the 1,500m.

For the girls, Alex Jarrold had the highest finish with a second in the shot while Sophie-Ann Haigh, Saskia Gardam and Emily Moorley produced good middle-distance races.

Completing the good all-round squad were Alyssa White, Talissa Jemmett and Anouska Krum in the sprints, high jump and long jump.

The team’s next fixture is at Bournemouth on June 5, when another tough match is in prospect against Bournemouth & Poole team plus national cross-country champions Aldershot, Farnham and District.

PHIL BAKER