Woking wondershow leaves Chichester athletes sitting pretty

Chichester’s emerging crop of talented under-15 and under-13 athletes travelled to Woking in the National Youth Development League and despite being squeezed into third place on the day, they have retained second place in the league behind leaders Portsmouth.

The girls’ squad outscored the boys with Sophie-Anne Haigh leading from the front with a double win in the under-15 100m and 200m.

Overcoming the effects of a fall while crossing the line at the previous weekend’s county championships, times of 12.9sec and 26.7sec were impressive in blustery conditions.

There were good all-round displays from Mia Selman and Mia Faulkner, scoring good points from consistent long jump and high jump competitions - after Selman had started the match for Chichester with a fluent display of hurdling with a 12.5sec clocking in the 75m event.

There was another individual win from Saskia Gardam in the 1,500m with a new personal best time of 5.01.8 in the 1,500m. Running against strong rivals from the other six clubs, Gardam’s tactics were to run hard from the gun to quickly open up a 30m lead over the chasing pack.

While her rivals expected her to falter in the latter stages, she found new energy to increase her margin. Grace Wills set a new best time to finish runner-up in the B string.

There were solid runs from Katie and Anna Hains in the 800m with Imogen Deacon and Abby Turner completing the under-15s’ day with good all-round performances in the throws.

The girls’ under-13s had their best result of the season so far with new names strengthening an already-good team.

There was the best possible start in the 70m hurdles in which Alyssa White and Phoebe Mayhew stormed down the track to leave their rivals in their wake for a double A and B string win for Chichester.

Mayhew then posted good second places in the high and long jump, supported well by Amelia Freeman and Scarlett Thompson.

In the sprints White was joined by Roberta Collyer in the 150m while Thompson and Caitlin Brown showed good speed in the 75m.

Freeman and Brown joined forces in the 1,500m while Emily Guiry and Milly Selman completed the squad with battling runs in the 800m.

Both the under-13 and under-15 boys were missing key athletes but there were some encouraging marks set by the ten athletes on view.

The under-13s were highlighted by a double middle-distance win from Will Broome and Ben Collins in the 800m and 1,500m respectively with times of under 2.30 and five minutes, both personal bests.

They employed different tactics but with equally effective results. Broome decided to run hard from the gun, but Collins was prepared to wait until the final bend before sprinting past his rivals on the finishing straight.

The club almost completed a clean sweep in the two events with Jeremy Sharp winning the 800m B string and Leo Stallard just missing out with second place in the 1,500m but running a new best time of 5.12.8.

These four were joined by sprinter Alex Austin and filled the gaps in the team with useful jumps and throws.

New pairing Jay Lake and Stanley Mitchell led the under-15 boys in shot putt, discus and hammer, with A string Lake beaten only by the Surrey champion, for three second places - while Mitchell dropped just one point in the B string.

On the track Brandon Bell and Joe Roman spearheaded the sprints while Brodie Keates showed good form in the 1,500m.

League table

1 Portsmouth 1,260pts

2 Chichester 1,015

3 Woking 861

4 Fleet & Crookham 693

5 Worthing and District 587

6 New Forest Juniors 521

7 Havant 428