The early part of the year is always a busy time for middle-distance athletes and this is certainly the case for those who did well at the Sussex schools cross-country championships at Waterhall near Brighton.
Last Saturday saw the best in the south-east line up at Newbury for the regional schools area championships, a stepping stone before the English schools championships in March.
It was... the first time Bishop Luffa have had six runners represent the Sussex schools’ senior team at cross country.
All but one of the dozen Chichester athletes at Newbury had been in action the previous weekend in the South of England club championships at Brighton.
Will Broom made up for his disappointment at missing the Sussex event by finishing a fine eighth, just a minute behind nationally-ranked Zach Mahammed from Southampton.
In the same race Leo Stallard finished 22nd, followed a few seconds later by Ben Morton in 25th, all three runners from Bishop Luffa. There was a similar story in the senior girls’ race, where Imogen Matthews finished 11th followed by schoolmates Alice Cox-Rusbridge 37th and Beth Brown 65th, the first time Bishop Luffa have had six runners represent the Sussex schools’ senior team at cross country.
In the intermediate boys race Liam Dunne had another fine run in ninth place, running for Hampshire schools on behalf of Ditcham Park.
Ned Potter finished 19th with Alfie Spurle in 68thjust a minute further back.
In the girls’ intermediate race, Olivia Wiseman notched the best placing by any Sussex athlete on the day in fifth while Maggie King was 60th in a race as equally competitive as the boys’ one.
The only Chichester junior on duty was Olivia Toms who had recovered well enough after missing the previous weekend and finished 12th.
Potter, Cox-Rusbridge and Brown all managed to recover well enough to line up for the Chichester 10k the following morning.
British Universities and Colleges Cross Country Championships at Hillingdon
The British Universities and Colleges cross-country championships were held at Hillingdon.
In the women’s race six of Chichester Runners’ past juniors were in action in probably the highest-quality field in the history of the event.
The race was won by Harriet Knowles-Jones, winner of the European junior championships in Slovakia in December. Last weekend’s south of England champion, Phoebe Law, was pushed into second while Olympian Jess Judd had to be content with fifth. The run of the day from a Chichester point of view came from Beth Garland, running for Leeds University, who confirmed her third place at the Sussex championships in January by finishing 34th in a race which boasted no less than 700 finishers.
Tara Bage in the colours of UCL was 101st followed by Chichester Uni No1 Alice Wright in 107th. There followed a trio of Charlotte Reading (Worcester) 236th, Hannah Croad (Reading) 343rd, and Nicola Mead (Nottingham) 31.56.
In the men’s short race Chichester Uni’s Joe Godwood finished 183rd out of a quality field of 550 runners.
The 2018 Corporate Challenge City Centre road race series is just less than two weeks away with the first race on Wednesday, February 21. Entry forms are on the Chichester Runners website and queries should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org