Moving on from the club’s successes in the winter cross country season, Lewes Athletics Club has started the summer season with the best team results at the Sussex County Road Relay Championships since the club was founded way back in 1984.
The first to mention must be the homegrown talents of the Lewes AC senior men’s team of six who claimed the bronze medal behind Phoenix AC and Brighton and Hove City AC.
Sam Bennett gave the team a tremendous start by leading the whole field of 16 teams to hand over in first place to Josh Burgess in a time for the two and a bit mile course in of 9min 47sec. Josh held on to finish his lap in 10:17, followed by Tim Calliafas with 11:02 and Ben Savill with 11:17.
At this point the team were lying forth, about 90 metres behind Hastings AC in the bronze medal position. It was now up to the Bradford brothers to see what they could do. David in his lap of 10:29 managed to make up the 90m over the Hastings runner and handed over to his brother Matt for the last lap.
It was then neck and neck with the last Hastings runner. Matt, having said he wanted to run the glory lap, had to work hard for said glory. The runners played cat and mouse with each other over the first two miles and it was only over the last 200m that Matt pulled away for his own personal glory and that of the team.
So, congratulation to the senior men’s team for the first medal in that category for Lewes AC since 1984. (Photo of senior men’s team in order from left to right: Tim Calliafas; Josh Burgess; Sam Bennett; Matt Bradford; David Bradford; Ben Savill).
The men’s senior men’s B team finished a very creditable 11th out of the competing 16 teams from across Sussex.
Lower down the age groups and in the first event were the U13 boys team who, in a field of 18 teams, claimed the silver medal behind Brighton. The team were Ben Walters, who led off on a shorter lap than the senior men with a time of 6min 25secs. Next was Jasper Baker (6:40) and Ben Martin (6:19). Not only did the Lewes U13 team win silver medal but Martin’s lap time was equal second of all the competitors.
Moving up an age group, the U15 boys teams did better in their age group than both the senior men and the U13 boys teams by claiming both gold and silver team medals.
Claiming the gold medal were Aiden Briffett whose lap time of 5min 54sec was second fastest of all U15 boys, Connor Sullivan (6:11) and James Martin (6:22). Close behind the Lewes A team, by only 10 seconds, was the B team of Tom Lambert (6:12), Mark Strong (6:11) and Sam Jackson (6:14).
Not to be outdone in the medal count, the women’s over 50 team secured silver, just behind the Arena 80 team. Karin Divall led off the team with a lap time of 13min 42sec, which also secured her the second fastest time of the day. Next off was Carolyn Bennett (Yes, mother of Sam – it must be in the genes!) in a time of 14:20 followed by the third team member Andrea Ingram in a time of 15:36.
Lewes had a stack of other teams supporting the medal winning teams, with the three senior women’s teams finishing 9th, 18th and 20th out of 21 teams. The U15 girls team finished ninth in their age group and the U13 girls teams finished 8th and 15th. The U13 boys B finished 16th in theirs.