Chichester youngsters shine at English Schools finals

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SOME 2,000 of the country’s top junior athletes travelled to Gateshead at the weekend for the weather-threatened English schools track and field championships – including a trio from Chichester.

That the event was able to be held at all was tribute to the hard work of the groundstaff to clear away the enormous amount of surface water. Even the aptly-named floodlights had to be switched on at 4pm.

The overall standard of competition reached its usual high standard with many future Olympians in action, some with their eyes on Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and others with 2020 in mind.

The three Chichester athletes can all be proud of their achievements.

Izzie Brown won a silver medal in the senior girls’ high jump with a jump of 1.69m to grab second place on countback with a first-time clearance and just miss out on gold by 3cm.

The silver goes with the same medal she won at the national indoor even in the winter.

In the senior boys’ pole vault there was no room for error for the finalists as the starting height of 3.95m was beyond all but the best.

Jamie Moore from The Regis School stepped up to the mark and followed a first-time clearance at the opening height with another at 4.10m.

The next height of 4.25m was just beyond Moore but a top-eight placing in his final year at the championships was a fine reward for his progress.

Like Brown, Moore will now concentrate on preparing for the multi-events championships at the end of the season.

Chichester High School’s Ollie Smith was again sub 50 seconds in the senior boys’ 400m but was just outside the top eight times with 49.78 and missed out on a place in the final.

Smith then dashed south to Crystal Palace to make a last-minute appearance in the South of England under-20 championships, where he recorded a new lifetime best of 48.9sec – cracking the 49-second barrier for the first time.