Chichester’s competitive track and field athletics season got under way when the under-17s and under-20s travelled to Hillingdon for the first round of the National Youth Development League.
Despite fielding only a small number of athletes so early in the season, the club saw a number of encouraging performances – and a much larger turnout is expected for the next fixture at Portsmouth in May.
The club’s women sprinters showed the way with Jess Breach and Caitlin Moore combining well to score near-maximum points in the under-20 100m.
Breach had to settle for second place in the A string behind a very strong girl from Ealing & Southall but still dipped under 13 seconds with 11.9, which puts her well inside the top 50 in the UK at this stage of the season.
Moore clocked 13.4 in winning the B string in the blustery conditions less than half a second outside her best and followed this with a good 200m, on this occasion partnered by Alex Fryday, resulting in two second places. Earlier Fryday had battled well over 400m for a close third place in 66 seconds.
Mia Faulkner ran well for this time of the season in the sprints in the under-17 age group.
The club’s women sprinters showed the way...
Brandon Bell had his first taste of under-17 competition having just moved up from the under-15s. He acquitted himself well with a first attempt over 400m, a big step up from the 300m as an under-15.
Battling a headwind down the back straight, he crossed the line in just over 56 seconds – a good result following a consistent winter’s training.
Showing he has not lost any of his speed, Bell ran a new personal best of 24.6sec over 200m later in the match.
In the field events, the best performances were from Breach, who secured a double win in long jump and shot putt with distances of 5.02m and 9.74m respectively, both marks good enough for high places in the national rankings.
Lauren Cooper set a new personal best in winning the javelin with a throw of 27.29m, which beat all her competitors by a clear five metres and lifted her into a place just outside the top 50 in the national rankings.