Two days of competitive athletics saw a fine haul of medals from Chichester’s 14-athlete squad at the Sussex track and field championships.
The under-17 and under-20 women’s events saw the most success with no fewer than seven gold medals being gained by four of the athletes. Following her personal best set at a British league match the previous week, Sophie-Anne Haigh stormed home in the under-20 100m in a time of 12.5sec into a headwind to win by nearly half a second, a fine achievement in the conditions. No less impressive was her 200m win in 25.76sec to once again leave her rivals trailing in her wake.
The under-17 and under-20 women’s events saw the most success with no fewer than seven gold medals being gained by four of the athletes.
On equally good form was middle-distance runner Grace Wills who doubled up at 800m and 1,500m to win the two-lap race in 2.25.47 then gain her second gold with a time of 5.02.46 in the longer event.
Chichester’s prowess in the women’s sprints has been good all season and Alyssa White repeated Haigh’s feat in the 100m to win in 12.78sec and she was just pipped in the 200m with 26.43sec in silver-medal spot.
Also on the medal rostrum in the 200m was Rachel Laurie with a fine third place with 26.94. She narrowly missed gaining a second medal, having to settle for fourth place with 42.99sec in the 300m.
Rosie Compton also gained valuable experience in her first year in the age group with times of 13.88 and 28.39 in the heats of the 100m and 200m respectively.
In the middle-distance races Olivia Wiseman opted for the two longer events and added to Chichester’s tally with two more gold medals. Her time of 4.55.3 was too good for the rest in the 1,500m while she showed great determination in the 3,000m in tricky conditions to win the in 10.35.5 finishing more than half a lap ahead of her nearest rival.
In the men’s middle-distance events there was a strong showing from Chichester in the 1,500m especially resulting in three bronze medals in three different age groups.
Will Broom recorded the club’s fastest time of the day while finishing third in the under-17 race in a new personal best time of 4.11.1 seconds.
Conrad Meagher also placed third in the senior race with 4.23.2 while Brodie Keates had the same result in the under-20 race with 4.26.1.
Dominic Easton ran a new personal best of 53.2sec in the 400m in the under0-17 age group, just missing out on a medal in finishing fourth, while veteran James Baker lined up in the biggest field for years in the 5,000m and was slightly off his best form with 15.58.3.
Just three juniors made the trip to the championships with Emily Russell and Fleur Hollyer just unable to progress from the heats of some competitive sprinting in the under-15 age group, running 14.21 and 14.56 respectively in the 100metres. Russell followed with a 28.5 clocking in the 200m.
Under-13 Cerys Dickinson lined up in a record field of nearly 50 athletes in the under-13 minithon and placed 17th with the majority of her points coming from a fine run in the 800m of 2.46.8.
* Junior and senior athletes from Chichester will be in action this weekend in Dorset.
The victorious junior team who won their first match at Portsmouth three weeks ago will be in action at Bournemouth on Saturday trying to cement their position at the top of the table.
The following day the team which comprises seniors, veterans, under-17s and under-20s will travel to Poole for the second fixture of their season. They were edged into third place in their opening fixture at Andover in April and will be looking to secure a top-two finish at Poole to move up the standings.
- PHIL BAKER
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