Chichester prove true all-rounders in Southern Athletics League at Lewes

A strong all-round performance from Chichester’s contingent contributed to a competitive Southern Athletics League match at Lewes.

With six teams involved in a division comprising 11 clubs, the action, especially on the track, has been of an excellent standard.

As in match one, it was Chichester’s women sprinters who set the standard, in spite of missing some of the younger members of the team who were involved in Sussex schools action the previous day.

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Replacing Rachel Laurie as No1 sprinter was newcomer to the team Dasha Petrovska, only recently arrived in England from Ukraine.

Jack Wadman and Oliver Beach of Chi Runners

She did not disappoint over both 100m and 200m with a good runners-up spot in the 100m in 13.1 seconds into a headwind.

Amelie McGurk was a very capable B string in both events and comfortably won both her races with a strong showing.

Both athletes are still in the under-17 age group, as is Anya Barrett who set a fine personal best of 64.5sec for a runners-up spot in the 400m .

She went on to support Rachel Laurie over 1500m with Laurie also tackling 800m. Cerys Dickinson produced a solid showing in the 1500m in her first track match of the season.

Some of Chichester's young stars of the track

And Petrovska, McGurk and Barrett were joined by one of the Worthing runners in the combined Chichester & Worthing team for a convincing win in the 4x100m relay, with anchor leg Petrovska striding home to win by nearly two seconds.

Chichester had to make a number of changes because of the schools clash but were strengthened by four newcomers from match one.

Youngsters Josh Dunne and Harvey McGuinness were replaced by Chris West and by club chairman Jim Garland, now in the over-55 age group and more accustomed to competing in masters events these days.

Callum Lorimer was also on duty and between the three of them they gave a good account of themselves over 800, 1500 and 3000m, all three setting season’s bests in all their races.

Showing the importance of being able to tackle a variety of events, first timer Sam Brown showed good speed on the track and picked up useful points in the high jump.

Veteran Andy Hall, fresh from picking up a couple of gold medals the day before in the British Masters Championships made useful contributions in both discus and javelin, as well as assisting the Worthing Evans twins in the hammer.

Then, showing commendable team spirit, the 60-year- old tackled the pole vault for the first time for several seasons and picked up more points to add to Chichester’s tally.

Finally it was a great sight for Chichester to welcome back two of their all-conquering junior team from a few years ago.

Oliver Beach was a useful all-rounder while Jack Wadman used to be a proficient high jumper.

In the four intervening years, both athletes have done a lot of gym work and were useful additions to Chichester’s throwing section.

Fresh from winning Sussex schools titles, Beach and Wadman tackled the heavier senior implements with skill.

And they were rewarded with senior personal bests.

Beach won the discus by over six metres from Kelly of Havant with a throw of 38.47m while Wadman was pipped into second place by MoM Kelly with a shot best of 11 89m .

The club look forward to round t hree of the league when a number of thei best athletes will be available for selection – the match will be at the K2 stadium in Crawley on Saturday, July 16.

HALL OF FAME

Now in the over-60 age group, Andy Hall has been leading the way in his age group in recent weeks.

Having first secured the Sussex titles in the hammer and heavy weight throw, an event popular with specialist throwers, Hall travelled to Derby for the British Masters championships.

Once again Hall proved too good for the rest of the field and came away with two well-deserved British gold medals.

His new personal best s are very impressive with 45.25m for the hammer and 17.45 for the weight throw, both set incidentally at the Sussex event.

What is also impressive is that Hall combines his own athletic achievements with his club coaching duties and is keen to nurture the next crop of budding athletes.

STUDENTS SHINE

Chichester two Loughborough University based students have been on fine form.

Will Broom took advantage of the Hercules Wimbledon middle distance series to set a new personal best by half a second in the 1500m with a time of 3.47.33 – which is less than six seconds off the pace of a four-minute mile.

Not only was this a best for Broom but it broke his own club record into the bargain.

Then at Watford Ned Potter travelled down for the Watford British Milers Club meeting and ran a fine time of 14.21.5 for the 5000m.

While this is just eight seconds off Potter’s own club record of 14 13, set last season, the performance underlines that he is a model of consistency as all his three races at the distance this season have been sub 14.25.

It must only be a matter of time before Potter breaks into the hallowed sub 14-minute elite times – and Broom will certainly be shaving time off in his quest for a 1500m in 3.42, the metric equivalent of a four-minute mile.

Read more from the Chichester athletics scene at sussexworld.co.uk – and in next week’s Observer