Chichester juniors shine in cross-country - again

0
Have your say

Chichester Runners members were spread far and wide in cross-country, road and multi terrain events.

Chichester Runners members were spread far and wide in cross-country, road and multi terrain events.

At Bexhill the cross-country runners were in action in the third round of the Sussex League just a week after the championships at Brighton.

Chichester’s juniors again gave a good account of themselves in all four races. Ed Gerwat and Harry Lyne led home the under-13 boys in sixth and eightth respectively and Casey Keates completed the scoring for the A team with a good 14th place on his return from injury.

The team finished with 28 points for second place, which leaves them with a strong chance of silver medals after the last match at Lancing Manor next month.

Brodie Keates led the B team home in 18th, followed by Ewan Willis in 25th with Sam Reading 32nd.

For the girls, Rose Ellis and Charlotte Reading celebrated their call-up to the Sussex team with fifth and sixth respectively and, with Holly Beaton in tenth, their team total of 21 points was good enough for second place behind host club Hastings.

In the under-15 races, Georgina Warner again caught the eye with another second place. With Hannah Croad and Emma Maynard swapping places in eighth and ninth, the team total was identical on ten points to the Brighton race the previous weekend - good enough for them to come out on top.

The position in the team standings could not be more exciting with Worthing leading with an aggregate score of 78 points from the three fixtures so far, one ahead of Chichester on 79. Brighton & Hove have 80.

For the B team Lucy Ellis and Nicola Mead packed well in 24th and 26th.

Harry Leleu confirmed his recent strong form by leading the under-15 boys home in sixth place, less than 30 seconds behind the winner. With George Dempster eighth and Jordan Brown 27th, the team lie third in the overall standings.

Chichester’s senior men were pleased to have James Baker back in action to finish in second place behind championship silver medallist Ben Warren of Hailsham.

Showing surprisingly good form after a recent lay-off through injury, Baker matched strides with the winner for three of the four laps before having to give way over the final 2,000m.

Behind Baker there were good runs from veterans Tony Roddis in 28th and Dave Dorning 46th. But with just two more runners in the race - Tom Blaylock in 83rd and Graham Lyne 110th - Chichester fell down the team standings to lie just above the relegation zone.

Having never been relegated from the top division, the club need a good turnout in the final fixture on February 12 to retain division-one status.

A field of more than 250 tackled the second fixture in the West Sussex Fun Run League at Plumpton Racecourse.

In a race which was a casualty of last year’s ice and snow, normal service was resumed for Chichester with James Baker winning the race by more than a minute and a half, just a day after finishing runner-up in the Sussex Cross-Country League at Bexhill.

John Leonard showed his recent good form with a fine ninth place followed closely by Jon Healy in 23rd and Steve Hasler 34th.

Team manager Jill Renson did well to get 20 competitors at the fixture and was rewarded with six more in the top 100 – Paddy Moore, Dave Jobe, Kevin Batt, Dave Reading 77th, Angus Farrelly 78th and Terry Healy 93rd.

The rest of the squad were Michael Moorcroft 103rd, Trudi Cunningham 110th, David Knight 131st, Jane Leonard 145th, Nigel McNestrie 166th, Sue Barty 174th, Peter Shaw 186th, Sarah Richardson 205th, Sue Baker 206th and Dave Grunwell 226th.

While not quite being able to match the score from the first match at Goring, a score of 75 out of a maximum of 85 keeps Chichester up with the leading teams at the start of the 2011 campaign.

SEVEN members of Chichester Runners were among the field of 1,300-plus in the Stubbington 10k road race.

The Chichester squad were led home by Kevin McGreal, who overcame the gusty conditions in 64th place in a time of 38.12.

Next home was Ed Porter in 100th spot in 39.35 - giving him the honour of winning the under-20 category.

Angela Carpenter had a fine run in 173rd overall to finish in the top 20 in the women’s race and was followed by under-20 Nick Mahoney in 220th.

Three of the club’s veterans completed the scoring with Colin Harley in 355th leading home John Betts (416th) and Lynn Harley (1,190th).

This weekend sees the Sussex Schools Cross-Country Championships taking place at Lancing Manor on Saturday morning, followed by the rearranged Sussex Masters Cross-Country Championships in the afternoon.

On Sunday the juniors are in action in the third round of the Sussex Indoor Sportshall League at Tanbridge House School, Horsham, with selection for the inter-counties match an added incentive.

PHIL BAKER