Young Chichester Runners begin winter indoor Sportshall campaign

Chichester juniors joined rival clubs in a return to Sportshall action. Picture by Lee Hollyer
Chichester juniors joined rival clubs in a return to Sportshall action. Picture by Lee Hollyer

Chichester made a cautious start to their winter indoor Sportshall campaign at Tanbridge House School, Horsham.

With fewer competitors than the other four teams in the division, they were never going to challenge for overall team honours, but there were many promising individual performances to act as a boost for the remainder of the season.

In her final season in this league before moving up to the under-17s next year, Fleur Hollyer was once again the star of the team with another speed bounce win with an amazing score of 84 jumps in 30 seconds. She will have three more attempts this season to break the league record of 87.

In the two-lap sprint, Hollyer was just pipped into second place but showed her summer form to good effect as she battled with top county runners from Crawley, Brighton and Horsham.

Elsewhere for the girls, the under-13 trio of Amelie McGurk, Lucy Hollyer and Grace Bishop showed good versatility on the track as well as shot putt, vertical, jump and speed bounce.

And they kept their best ’til last with a speedy 4x2-lap relay, bringing in Millie Dutton from the under-11s as the fourth runner.

Dutton was joined by Catherine Dudman and Hannah Holte in the under-11 two-lap sprint, long jump and speed bounce, all three showing promise for the future.

For the boys it was two of Chichester’s new crop of under-11s who made their mark with James Taylor and Henry Court both winning their two-lap sprint races with a good turn of speed.

With Sam Cato they also set good marks in the other three under-11 events and joined under-13 Joe Steyn for the relay at the end in the higher under-13 group and held on to the other teams with good effect.

Steyn, meanwhile, had set a good standard for the rest of the season in the four-lap on the track as well as shot putt and long jump.

With a six-week break until the next Sussex League match at the same venue on December 16, Chichester Runners & AC are putting on two trial events at Bishop Luffa School on November 25 and December 9.

These are open to members of Chichester Runners and non-members and will act as trials to select the team for December 16. The sessions will last from 2pm to 4pm with the doors open at 1.30pm for registration and warm-up.

Non-members of the club are asked to contact Phil Baker to book their place - email philbaker5@btinternet.com.

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Fun Run League

Chichester’s two regulars in the West Sussex Fun Run League made it a repeat of the previous week’s Steepdown Challenge at Lancing as they again led the club home at the Gunpowder Trot at Denne Park, Horsham.

Out of a strong field of more than 400 finishers, Jason Snow was once again fine form to lead the Chichester contingent home in 36th place overall, securing a near maximum nine bonus points in the process.

With Dan Busher in 55th, the third Chichester Runner home was Emma Hughes who once again scooped ten bonus points by being eighth woman home in 66th place.

She was joined by improving Sarah Morris in 96th, 15th woman, as Chichester’s only other ten-point scorer, with Nadia Anderson in 20th place another nine-point runner.

Overall, Chichester had one of their best team showings of the season with fourth place out of the 17 clubs in the league.

This was in no small part to gaining a maximum 25 participation points with the best turnout for several matches.

The remainder of the squad finished as follows: 73rd David Pike, 74th Tim Brown, 87th Mike Moorcroft, 90th Marcus Hammerton, 109th Jon McElhill, 133rd Tony Cooley, 140th Tom Blaylock, 142nd Elizabeth Robinson (28th female), 149th Kevin Lockyear, 165th Amanda Godfrey (F37), 166th Julia Hammond (F38), 202nd Sue Barty (F50), 213th Peter Anderson, 215th Nicola Jolly (F56), 221st Tracy Lockyear (F59), 229th Jeremy Harrison, 239th Sue Baker (F69), 249th Peter Shaw, 267th Trevor Baker, 303rd Martin Fryer, 346th Jill Renson (F130).

Cross-Country preview

Saturday (November 10) brings the opening fixture in the Sussex Cross Country League over the grassland and downland paths of Stanmer Park, Brighton.

Chichester’s men will need to be on their mettle having returned to division one, while the women will be hoping to challenge for top-division medals for the fourth consecutive year.

Much interest, too, will be focused on the junior age groups with all ages having a chance to impress Sussex selectors before the Southern inter-county match at Oxford in December.

The programme starts at midday with the under-11s and parking will be at the AMEX Stadium.