There’s no D-Day doom for Chichester ace Baker

Eventual winner James Baker is in the red vest as the D-Day 10k Race starts at the Mountbatten Centre Picture by Mick Young
Eventual winner James Baker is in the red vest as the D-Day 10k Race starts at the Mountbatten Centre Picture by Mick Young

Three Chichester athletes featured in the prizes at the D-Day 10k road race.

James Baker notched yet another career victory with a speedy 32min 10sec in blustery conditions, showing his recent good track times over the shorter distances have been beneficial to his road racing.

Following him home was former Chichester junior Jo Corbett in exactly 33 minutes, while top veteran Jane Harrop easily won the over-50 women’s category and found her time of 40min 17sec was good enough for third female overall.

Meanwhile, there was exciting action at the Sussex schools track and field championships at the weekend with athletes fighting for medals on the day as well as team selection for the South of England inter-counties team - and for a few, the pinnacle of schools athletics, the National English schools championships held this year in Birmingham.

There will be a full report in next week’s (June 20) Observer but the highlights included ten Sussex titles from local athletes, all of them in the girls’ events.

The senior girls age group accounted for four gold medals with Alex Fryday and Bea Venezia winning the 200m and 800m respectively while Katy Hall and Charlotte Honour repeated the achievement in shot and discus.

There were three intermediate girls winners.

Jess Breach just got the better of her Hastings rival in the 80m hurdles in 12.1 seconds, which may put her in line for national selection.

Rosie Ellis put up a battling display in the 3,000m to dominate the field, although the strong wind put paid to a fast time, and Sophie Shergold completed the set with a win in the javelin just under the 30m mark.

In the junior age group, two of the winners from the recent club match at Woking were again to the fore with a clear win for Sophie Ann Haigh in the 100m with another 12.8 clocking, which puts her in with a chance of selection for Birmingham.

Saskia Gardam employed exactly the same tactics as the previous weekend in the 1,500m and left her rivals trailing from the first lap and had enough in reserve to keep a healthy lead.

Alex Jarrold threw a new best mark of 9.39m to notch up a clear victory in the junior girls’ shot.

This weekend (June 15-16) is one of the busiest of the track and field season and local athletes are action at three locations in the coming days.

There was the first fixture of the Sussex under-15 league at Horsham, the Southern Schools inter-counties at Basingstoke on Saturday, while Chichester’s senior team travels to the K2 for the third fixture in the Southern Athletics League.