Young Chichester athletes top the tree after Portsmouth perfection

A successful handover in the 4x400m for Chichester Runners at Portsmouth  Picture by Sara Ellis
A successful handover in the 4x400m for Chichester Runners at Portsmouth Picture by Sara Ellis

A fine all-round team performance enabled Chichester to turn the tables on previous winners Winchester and convincingly emerge on top of their National Junior League match at Portsmouth.

They won the six-team contest by nearly 200 points - a result that means Chichester are top of the table at the halfway point in the season.

The tone was set early on with the club’s three women’s 100m runners gaining two firsts and a second, with Jess Breach again running sub-13 seconds and Alex Fryday and Cailtin Moore offering good support.

Holly Beaton replaced Breach for the 200m with another near-perfect score, with Fryday the fastest of the three - this after she had shown her all-round form with a double win in the long jump and high jump. Breach also showed her good multi-event form with wins in shot and hurdles.

Making her first appearance of the season, Amy Brown had a winning clearance in the pole vault of 2.20m.

Also appearing for the club for the first time were Lilly Smith and Tilly Chisam, who picked up useful points for the team in both 400m and triple jump.

In the middle-distance events, Chichester were the dominant club with the 3,000m trio of Emma Maynard, Lucy Ellis and Nicola Mead in fine form while Rose Ellis dominated the 800m and 1,500m, beating strong Portsmouth-based athletes in the process. Hannah Croad ran well in the B string.

Completing the women’s squad, the remaining two athletes typified the team spirit running throughout the day with Zoe Nunn notching up useful points in three of the throws while middle-distance runner Beth Garland stepped out of her comfort zone to tackle events as diverse as the 400m hurdles and hammer, as well as her more usual 800m.

Capping a fine afternoon, the 4x100m quartet of Fryday, Beaton, Moore and Breach ran a scintillating race to leave the opposition standing.

The men’s squad also came up trumps with Collins Alfred setting the scene with another speedy 100m win, supported well by Jake Emerson running a personal best and Matt Dodd.

There was another strong display of front-running from Harry Leleu in the 3,000m with Ed Gerwat in support while Casey Keates showed good form in 800m and 1,500m and Harry Lyne took the opportunity to tackle the steeplechase for the first time.

The remaining four athletes showed the versatility needed to complete a well-balanced team.

George Humphrey and Peter Thomas spearheaded the throws with Dodd and Alfred giving good support. Humphrey turned his hand to high jump and finished second, while Jake Smythe and Reuben Truman picked up useful points in the triple jump after they had scored in hurdles and 400m respectively.

League table

1 Chichester 941pts

2 Winchester & District 875

3 Havant/Isle of Wight 566

4 City of Portsmouth 511

5 Fleet & Crookham 237

6 Woking 118