Chichester track and field stars relish return to 'normal' season

Chichester  Runners & AC are looking forward to a normal season for their track and field athletics teams for the first time since 2019 with all ae groups in action in a busy programme between now and September.

After mainly open competitions for the past two years, team managers throughout the club will be trying to field well-balanced teams which are able to contest all the disciplines ranging from sprints and middle distance through to jumps and throws.

A number of the club’s athletes have already been in action with Josh Dunne, Dominic Barth and Amelie McGurk running for a combined Brighton /Chichester team at Hillingdon, with all three showing early season form.

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Dunne has moved up from the under-15s and won his first under-17 race with a good tactical performance over 800m where he showed a clean pair of heels to the rest of the field after a slow first lap. He strode away over the last 200m to win in 2min 5sec.

Some of the Chichester juniors who were involved at the Crawley event

Also in the under-17s, McGurk dipped under 45 seconds for the 300m and shows promise for the season.

Barth looked sharp in his first 100m and was satisfied with an early season clocking of 11.4sec.

With all but one of the squad competing for the first time in a track competition, the under-13s were in action at the K2 track in Crawley.

Comprising mostly members of the club’s cross country squad from the winter, there were good runs from Elodie Hill and Daisy Hillyer in the 1000m to match two strong Crawley runners stride for stride for virtually the whole race leaving the rest of the field in their wake.

The pair had earlier recorded good times over 75m and a good long jump.

Newcomers to the team Isla Pearson and Thomas Kelson gained good experience in sprints, 600m and long jump.

This Sunday the whole club junior team, comprising under-13s and under-15s, will be at Winchester for the first match in their National Young Athletes League.

League champions a few years ago, Chichester will be starting the season with a very inexperienced team and will be looking to strengthen throughout the season.

Competitors will be required especially in sprints, jumps and throws and those interested are invited to contact Phil Baknr on

[email protected] or Andy Hall, junior coordinator, and specialist throws coach at [email protected]

The longest established team in the club’s history are the seniors, who started in the 1990s as separate men’s and women’s teams but for the past few years have amalgamated into a mixed team in the Southern Athletics League. Chichester have always had a close association with Worthing Harriers and have joined forces again for 2022 with fixtures in Crawley, Lewes and Hastings.

Ten clubs are represented among the six teams in their Division: Chichester, Worthing Harriers, Horsham Blue Star, East Grinstead, Lewes, Haywards Heath, Redhill, Reigate, Holland Sports, Havant and Hastings. Their opening fixture is on Sunday May 22 at the K2 Stadium in Crawley.

Veteran thrower Andy Hall has started his season in fine fashion by topping the national rankings with the weight thrown in his over-60 age group and has approached the 40m mark in the hammer.