Chichester’s senior athletics team travelled to Abingdon for a Southern League match and emerged with a creditable team performance highlighted by excellent individual results.
After a fine second place in their opening match at Bracknell, the club knew this was going to be one of the toughest fixtures of the season against two of the promotion favourites, Bexley and Newbury.
Missing several regulars, the squad nevertheless gave a good account of themselves, boosted by a number of A string wins in the women’s section.
Isobel Brown took the individual honours by being named female athlete of the match with a winning 1.68m clearance in the high jump.
She followed this with a club record and personal best of 15.5sec in the 100m hurdles, a timely boost ahead of her first heptathlon later this month.
Equally impressive was another multi-eventer, Jess Breach, who notched a double win in the 200m and long jump and nearly made it a hat-trick with a close second in the javelin.
Caitlin Moore continued her good sprinting form in the 100m and 200m while Holly Beaton was competitive over 400m.
Vicky Adams and Hannah Crossley stepped in to fill the middle-distance spots.
Alice James and a first competitive appearance from club coach Jenny Nunn kept the points total moving in both shot and discus to complete a good all-round showing from the eight-athlete women’s section of the team.
For the men, it was a mixture of youth and experience with several of the club’s promising under-17s making their mark together with the reappearance of one of the founder members of the club’s first track and field league team in 1994.
In the sprints, the standard was as fierce as the club had faced for many seasons.
Collins Alfred and James Amos had a baptism of fire in the 100m but did well to record 11.9sec and 12.4sec respectively.
Alfred was then partnered by Jake Emerson in the 200m in an equally-fast race.
Ollie Smith had one of his rare below-par runs in the 400m but was unlucky to meet a quartet of runners who were involved in a blanket finish at just over 50 seconds.
Greg Smith was in good form over 800m while two of the club’s veterans answered the call for the middle-distance races with both James Baker and Chris Bird unavailable.
Supervet Warwick Turner resumed his multi-eventing role which was such a part of the team’s progress through the leagues in the 1990s and tackled hurdles, high jump and pole vault as well as 800m, while Steve Crossley stepped into the breach over 3,000m.
Another of the club’s talented under-17s, Jack Graham, showed great promise in the field events with good scores in high jump, long jump and triple jump, partnered by Amos and Emerson respectively in the latter two.
Tim Brown and Jedidiah Ackah gave a good account of themselves in the throws but once again had to contend with some high-ranking performances from the top two clubs.
For the next fixture at Crawley on June 15, Chichester will be boosted by the return of decathlete Charlie Roe as well as an almost full-strength middle-distance squad.