Many junior personal bests and a near league record

Chichester junior Fleur Hollyer. Picture by Lee Hollyer
Chichester junior Fleur Hollyer. Picture by Lee Hollyer

Chichester’s juniors travelled to Horsham for the second match in their Indoor Sportshall season and came away with many personal best performances and one near league record.

In spite of the club’s good form, A string wins were hard to come by with athletes from Crawley, Horsham and Brighton again on sparkling form.

Elise Pullen competiting in the under-15 girls' two-lap competition. Picture by Lee Hollyer

Elise Pullen competiting in the under-15 girls' two-lap competition. Picture by Lee Hollyer

Fleur Hollyer set a new personal best time in the 2 lap sprint before notching up a new club record in the speed bounce, just a single jump behind the talented Brighton athlete who equalled the all-time league record of 77 jump sin a 30 second time limit.

Also showing good form in the under 15 age group were Elise Pullen in the 2 lap sprint as well as both vertical and long jumps while all-rounder Maya Solly was a close second in the shot put.

The under 13 girls quartet of Amberley Wharton, Maddie Byers, Izzy Lunn and Lucy Hollyer used their skills in both track and field to good effect and teamed up for a quick time in the relay at the end of the match. Louise Byers picked up valuable points in the under 11’s.

For the boys there was a strong showing from the pairing of Jacob Piper and Oscar Hares with Piper just being edged out in a very quick 2 lap sprint in spite of setting one of the club’s best ever times in the event with 21.3 seconds.

Hares set a new best time in the 4 lap before the two joined forces in the vertical jump, only just being prevented in gaining maximum points with both Chichester athletes on their best form. Almost as impressive was the shot with Piper well over 9 metres for second place in the A string and Hares a very capable B string. Completing the Chichester squad were the under 11 pairing of Sam Cato and Seb Fenmor Collins who picked up valuable points for the team in the sprint, long jump and speed bounce.

South of England Inter-County cross country at Oxford

A fine total of 10 of Chichester’s juniors were selected to represent Sussex in the South of England Inter-County Cross country championships at a frosty Oxford on Saturday, one of the club’s best ever representation in a strong Sussex squad.

With two unavailable to compete on the day, the eight who were in action all ran to form and helped Sussex to its strongest showing for many years in what is recognised as the most competitive of any of the regions in the UK.

The 12 counties in action covered an area from East Anglia to Hampshire including all the home counties with the big 4 of Surrey, Kent, Essex and Middlesex always to the fore in the national rankings.

Showing the standard of the Sussex league this season, there were two individual winners from the county, Bethany Cook in the under 15s and Almi Nerurker in the under 17 women’s race.

This seemed to inspire the rest of the Sussex squad to pick up one team silver and two team bronze medals and all but one team finishing in the top half of the counties.

The best Chichester result of the day was from Will Broom who has shaken off his early season injury problems and crossed the finishing line in a fine 12th place, just behind first Sussex scorer George Poole in 11th. Leo Stallard was just 19 seconds further back but such is the closeness of standard in this event that he was edged into 44th place and 5th Sussex man home.

In the under 15 boys race, Liam Dunne had his first taste of major inter county action at cross country and acquitted himself well as first Sussex runner home in 20th place and confirming his form of the previous week when he won the Sussex league at Lancing. This run should set himself up well for the Sussex championships in the New Year as well as the national and regional events in 2018. There was also a first taste of inter-county action for Isobel and Eva Buckler who ran well to finish in 64th and 70 respectively but once again the closeness of the finishers meant that the pair were not far off a high finish in terms of time behind the leading bunch.

Olivia Toms ran well in the under 15 girls race to finish 54th as 4th Sussex scorer and confirmed her standing in the county where she and the other competitors have to face the formidable form of Cook, national under 13 champion in 2017 and unbeaten so far in the under 15 age group this season.

At the time of going to press, the officials had not produced a final result for the under 17 women where Chichester’s Imogen Matthews and Alice Cox-Rusbridge were in action as part of a string Sussex team led home by race winner Nerurkar, daughter of former London Marathon winner, Richard.

It looks likely that the under 17 women also came away with a fine 3rd team place to cap a great day for Sussex.