Chichester young athletes shine among south-east’s elite

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Following their superb start to the season, Chichester’s junior cross-country runners stepped up to the first representative fixture of the season at Ipswich.

The south-east inter counties championships featured strong Sussex teams across all age groups.

Chichester had athletes in four age groups with the highlight of the day the under-15 girls gaining team silver medals.

Rose Ellis and Saskia Gardam were third and fourth scorers for Sussex, finishing in 16th and 32nd respectively, while Tara Bage sprinted in to be fifth athlete home.

With some of the top counties nationally competing, including Hampshire, Surrey, Middlesex and Essex, this was a fine achievement and shows promise for the rest of the season when national titles are to be decided.

In the under-15 boys race Casey Keates underlined his good form by placing in the top four Sussex runners.

The two under-17 events were high-quality affairs with Harry Leleu again chasing Sussex champion Billy White all the way to finish second Sussex scorer in 22nd with the Brighton Phoenix runner a handful of seconds in front in 16th.

In the same race James McKenzie showed great determination to make the finish, having not felt well during the race. He needed medical attention at the end.

For the girls, Georgie Warner repeated her fine form of the latest league match by finishing second Sussex scorer in an excellent 27th.

There was local interest in the senior women’s race where Sussex scooped an unexpected silver team medal with Midhurst-based Emma Gooby-Taylor an inspired individual runner-up and Chichester’s second-claim runner Rosie Hiles making the fourth scoring spot to put Sussex in second spot just four points behind winners Surrey.