Vaulting on Thames for Lewes athletes

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FOUR Lewes vaulters entered the early season open meeting at Walton on Thames on Sunday week.

Livvy Connor added eight centimetres to her previous best vault to win the U15G competition and become the youngest Lewes vaulter, male or female, to clear three metres. Her clearance also puts her joint second in the U15G UK rankings, just two centimetres from top spot – and Livvy is still in her first year in the age group.

Emilie Blackwell, meanwhile, continued her climb back to form to win the U17W competition with a first time clearance at 3.20m and two near misses at 3.30m.

James Shackleton (U17M) added eight centimetres to his previous best clearing 2.80m. Vicky Warren (U15G) also added eight centimetres to her previous best, clearing 2.50m. Tamsin Campbell (Crawley AC), who trains with the Lewes squad, added 18 centimetres to her previous best clearing 2.20m to go joint top of the UK U13G rankings.

Two groups of Lewes AC members travelled abroad for training and competition. The group of the club’s highly talented pole vaulters flew to Portugal with their parents and coaches for warm weather training. With the outdoor track and field season rapidly approaching, the athletes are looking to improve on their indoor performances.

Another group of 16 runners and other halves are travelled down to the Loire Valley in France to take part in a series of races organised by the Lewes AC twinned club AS Marolles. This was the 25th anniversary of competing in Marolles and to mark the occasion five Lewes AC runners took part in a celebration relay around the village of Marolles on Saturday.

The runners who have all travelled to Marolles over the years have a combined age of 314 years. John Coleman, Andrew Pearce, Peter Masters, Don Faulkner and Karin Divall made up the relay team.

Each of the Lewes runners in the relay were accompanied by runners from the French Club.

This celebration relay was started by the Mayor of Marolles who also awarded the Lewes Club a medal of honour in recognition of the very successful twinning arrangements between the club and between families on both sides of the channel.

The races on Sunday were where the real racing began with some excellent results from Lewes runners. The main race was a 10.5 mile race where Andrew Masters had an excellent race to come in 11th in a time of 69mins 31secs.

It was a particularly testing course that required climbing up twice two very steep cliffs with the aid of a rope. John Coleman was the second over 60 man in a time of 88mins 03secs. Karin Divall was the sixth over 50 female in a time of 91mins 44secs, followed by Stephanie Crespin in a time of 99mins 25secs Don Faulkner was the class act winning the over 70 men’s category in a time of 102mins 39secs.

Not to be outdone Peter Masters, in the five-mile race that also included the two cliffs to climb, won the over 65 men’s category in a time of 45mins 37secs, beating his 2010 time by more than five minutes. Andrew Pearce also had an excellent run with a time of 46mins.

Members of the public are welcome to join in the Lewes Athletics Club Easter Monday fun runs which are starting from the running track located behind the Lewes Leisure Centre in Mountfield Road, Lewes.

Just turn up and enter on the day. The main run for those over 15 years old is a 10k run on footpaths over to the village of Iford and back. There is also an option of a shorter run of two miles, and an even shorter Toddler’s Trot for the very young which is two laps around the running track.