Athletics: Kids are ‘hall’ right for Chichester

One young Chichester urunner goes for glory in the Sportshall League at Horsham
One young Chichester urunner goes for glory in the Sportshall League at Horsham
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There were some encouraging performances in Chichester’s latest junior Sportshall League athletics match at Horsham.

The glory bid was spearheaded by the boys’ under-13 sprinters, who finished the match with a fine relay win against some stiff opposition – especially from the Horsham and Crawley squads.

Earlier in the match Cellan Robinson and Sam Price had opened up with a double win in the two-lap sprint with Robinson a clear second faster than anyone else in his age group.

Robinson went on to win the four-lap race with Jack Dean a close second in the B string and had combined well with Harry Talbot for another near-maximum points score in the shot putt.

With Max Cooke also showing good form in the six-lap, he joined Robinson, Price and Dean for the relay with Chichester just holding on by less than a second from their two main rivals.

Elsewhere Michael Ackerman showed his versatility for the under-15s with good points in the triple jump, vertical jump and shot putt.

Star performance for the girls’ team came from Heather Jacobs, who improved her own personal best in the under-15 shot putt with a winning throw of more than nine metres with the rest of the field more than a metre behind.

Rachel Laurie showed good speed over two laps and four laps in the same age group with Florence Smith picking up good points in the B string.

In the under-13 races, Josie Pratt showed a good turn of speed on the track before combining well with Rosie Compton for near-maximum points in the vertical jump and the pair gained third places in the shot.

For the under-11s, Fleur Hollyer and Eleni Georgiou were both runners-up in the speed bounce and were joined by Nicole Boltwood and Lucy Hollyer for a spirited showing in the relay at the end of the match.

Inter-counties

No fewer than nine of Chichester’s talented juniors had the honour of representing Sussex in the South of England inter-counties cross country championships at Oxford.

With only the top eight from each of the ten counties in the fields, it was a case of running against the very best athletes in the south.

The club’s highest finisher was Rosie Ellis, who had an inspired run to finish in fifth place and was the first Sussex athlete across the line in the under-17 women’s race.

Her three closest team-mates also finished inside the top 20 and it was all down to the position of the fourtth scorer of main rivals Surrey.

When she appeared into view, it was another Chichester athlete who was vying for the place – in the form of Charlotte Reading, who was just edged out on the line. Both athletes were given the same time and Sussex had to settle for team silver by a single point.

In the under-13 race, Olivia Wiseman was a fine fifth and was second Sussex athlete to finish, with the team just outside the medals in fourth.

Emma Maynard had her best run of the season with 28th place in the under-20 race and was fourth scorer for Sussex, which ensured a well-deserved third team medal.

For the boys it was in the under-15 boys’ event where Chichester had the best representation, with three of the team in the race. Ben Collins was 31st, Luke Campbell 44th and Brodie Keates 76th for a team placing of sixth in a very competitive age group.

Casey Keates continued his fine form with 29th in the under-17 race with Harry Lyne 68th, and the club’s squad was completed with Harry Sage a good 45th in the under-13 race, less than a minute behind the winner.

PHIL BAKER