Record-breaking boys lift Chichester Runners at Lewes

Portsmouth's senior athletes in recent Southern League action  Picture by Lee Hollyer
Portsmouth's senior athletes in recent Southern League action Picture by Lee Hollyer

Chichester travelled to Lewes to face seven of the top clubs on the south in the National Under-13 and Under-15 League.

Their second fixture of the season was another nail-biting match of the highest quality.

Not only did Chichester have to contend with the top three Hampshire teams – Portsmouth, Bournemouth and Aldershot – plus Surrey rivals Guildford & Godalming and Horsham, Havant and the home club Lewes.

James Gillett was on form for the under-15 boys, following up a win in the hammer with good throws in shot and discus.

On the track there was a pair of second places in the 300m with Brandon Bell again dipping under 40 seconds in the A string and Lewis Hall gaining a similar good result in the B string in his first race over the distance.

Earlier, these two plus Alex Austin had given a good account of themselves in the 100m and 200m against some fine sprinting. Over 800m Ben Collins set a new personal best of 2min 15sec but had to settle for third place, with the winner breaking the 2.10min barrier to lift himself into the top ten in the national rankings.

Kai Terry backed up well in the B string and there were further good runs from Ben Morton and Leo Stallard in the 1,500m with the winner breaking into the top national performances of the season with a 4.22 clocking.

The boys’ under-15 squad ended the match in the best possible manner in the 4x300m relay with Collins, Hall, Austin and Bell leaving the rest of the teams trailing to break the three-minute barrier and win in a new club record of 2.59.9.

With a few key athletes missing, the seven-strong under-15 squad did well to keep the points rolling against a similar standard to the boys’ match.

Alyssa White and Rachel Laurie battled in both the 100m and 200m, well in the mix with some very fast sprinters.

Middle-distance trio Grace Wills and Katie and Anna Hains had national champions Aldershot to contend with as well as southern medallists Guildford and local rivals City of Portsmouth, who have shown their prowess in the Chichester Corporate Challenge road races.

The Chichester trio stuck well to their task with Wills and Katie Hains also tackling the shorter 300m for useful points.

Kerrie Pafford led the way in the throws with good distances in hammer, shot and discus with Emogen Spreckly stepping in as a useful B string in shot, discus and javelin.

The 12-strong under-13 squad notched up fine performances with the highlight a new personal best of 13.6sec by Sam Price in winning the 75m hurdles.

He was supported well by Ethan Brown, who also reduced his best time to come second in the B string to give Chichester a great start on the track.

The same pair also did well in the high jump with Price going on the support Jack Dean in the 100m while Brown teamed up with Harry Smith in the javelin.

Smith teamed up with Tom Davy for two good runs in the 800m while established middle-distance pairing Jeremy Sharp and Ned Potter were involved in a classy 1,500m.

The club’s five under-13 girls did well to lend their support to a variety of events. Sprinters Maya Shankar and Maria Austin were in action over 100m with Shankar then putting a useful performance in the high jump. Austin used her fitness to support Xenia Truman over 800m with Truman showing her versatility in shot and long jump.

Caitlin Brown supported Shankar in the 150m and paired up with Amber Dodd over 1,500m as well as in the javelin to help to keep Chichester’s points score moving.

Under-17 match at Poole

Although only a small Chichester squad made the trip to Poole on Sunday for their under-17 fixture, they were rewarded with encouraging performance from all four competitors.

Undoubted star of the day was Peter Thomas, who notched up two convincing wins in the shot and discus with marks of 11.31m and 33.12m, the latter a new personal best. A close third place in the hammer capped a fine afternoon’s work.

Caitlin Moore gave a good account of herself in the 100m and 200m while Sophie Brown was on form in both long and triple jump as well as supporting Moore in the 100m.

Chayleigh Jennings set good marks in both shot and hammer and showed her versatility in the long jump.

The next match for the under-17s will be as part of the West Sussex West team in the Sussex schools championships on June 14 before competing in Chichester’s next Southern Athletics League fixture at Portsmouth a week later.

* There is still time to enter to enter the popular Midsummer 5 road race, now in its 25th year and sattracting athletes from along the south coast.

This year’s five-mile contest takes place on Wednesday, June 18 at 7.30pm.

The original course used to take the runners in front of Goodwood House on its way back to the start and finish points at Lavant Village Green, the athletes now have the pleasure of taking in a circuit of the Goodwood motor-racing track instead.

Entry forms can be downloaded from http://www.chichester-runners.org.uk/content/mid-summer-5 – or those visiting Westgate Leisure will find forms on the club noticeboard in the foyer.

PHIL BAKER