Lewes trip gives Chichester athletes best result yet

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Chichester’s joint men’s and women’s senior athletics team were in action in a Southern Athletics League at Lewes – and produced their best result of the season to date.

Featuring a combination of under-17s, under-20s, seniors and even veterans, the 14-strong squad produced many fine performances including a number of personal bests.

Star of the day was multi-eventer Charlie Roe, a last-minute inclusion in the team after deciding not to compete in the South of England decathlon because of a niggling injury.

Roe almost completed a full decathlon in one day with no fewer than eight individual events and a relay.

Having just gone up to the under-23 ranks after a successful junior career, Roe notched up wins in the 100m hurdles and high jump as well as posting all-time personal bests in the 200m with a sub-24sec clocking and a 3.20m clearance in the pole vault.

Having just been edged out for second place in the long jump, Roe partnered Tim Brown in shot, discus and javelin, where both athletes performed well against some of the toughest competition ever seen in the club’s 18-year involvement in the Southern League.

Brown was pleased to add to his achievements a best-of-the-season throw in the hammer.

Under-17 sprinter Henry Matthews-Smith did well to keep pace with some fast sprinters in the 100m and 200m while Chichester’s middle-distance quartet did themselves justice against fierce competition and in challenging windy conditions.

James Baker was again under 16 minutes for the 5,000m but had to give way to Kent champion Dean Lacy, while 58-year-old club chairman Tom Blaylock made his first appearance on the track for many years in the same event.

Chris West and Jim Garland teamed up in the 800m before running the 1,500m and steeplechase respectively.

A well-balanced women’s squad had their fair share of success with great team spirit shown.

Nowhere was this better epitomised than by the combination of Beth Garland and Georgina Warner with a double win in the 3,000m as well as them contesting the 800m and 1,500m and forming part of the 4x400m relay team.

Sprinter Alex Fryday was on form with two second places battling into a headwind, with Katy Bird supporting well in the 200m before teaming up with Katherine Maertens in the 400m, with both athletes showing a good turn of speed.

To round off the team, Izzy Brown and Alice James spearheaded the throws with Brown setting a new personal best in the shot as well as teaming up with Maertens for a good double performance in the javelin.

PHIL BAKER