Chichester athletes’ talent clear to see - despite the mist

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A battling all-round display enabled Chichester’s talented under-15s to finish the season in fine style as runners-up in the Sussex final at Brighton.

Having finished the regional west division in second place to a strong Crawley team during the summer, it was always going to be a tough fight to finish in the top three in the final with Brighton, Lewes, Hastings and Eastbourne also involved.

An improving area of the club in recent months has been in the sprinting, especially from the girls.

Holly Beaton and Jess Breach had given the team a boost at the start of the match in the 300m with Breach winning the B string in a new personal best of 44.8sec.

Jade Bailey and Kezia Turner repeated the performance in the 100m while Breach teamed up with Zoe Nunn in the 200m and with Bailey in the long jump, with both girls well over 4m.

Caitlin Moore proved a useful non-scorer in the 100m and long jump. The middle-distance quartet were equally as impressive with Charlotte Reading and Nicola Mead in action in the 800m while Tara Bage and Rose Ellis tackled the 1,500m.

Molly Summers spearheaded the throws with assistance from Carissa Schiller while Turner, Nunn and Reading filled in the gaps. Beaton partnered Lucy Ellis in the high jump to complete the team.

Collins Alfred had a new partner in the boys’ 100m with Jake Goosen making his first appearance for the club while James Amos and Goosen did well to finish close in the 200m with the leaders running at sub 25-second pace.

Amos then filled the A string spot in the 400m in the absence of English schools finalist Tom Ackerman and showed good speed with middle-distance specialist Casey Keates in the B string.

Dan Eeles and Ewan Willis recorded personal bests in the 800m with Eeles’ time of 2.13.00 lifting him further up the club rankings. Will Kallaway recorded a quick time as a non-scorer.

Multi-eventer Josh James partnered Keates in the 1,500m and was again over 30m in a competitive javelin contest.

George Humphrey and Peter Thomas lived up to expectations in the throws even though Sussex has become one of the strongest counties in this age group. Both were peppering the 27m mark in the discus, enabling Humphrey to win the B string, and were not far behind in the hammer.

Thomas teamed up with Harry Pink in the shot for another 10m effort while Humphrey showed his versatility by teaming up with James in the high jump. Eeles and Alfred did the long jump; Amos and Pink the hurdles.

Despite the Withdean Stadium being covered by a swirling sea mist, all four relay quartets gave a good account of themselves – the highlight a 56.2sec effort from Turner, Breach, Nunn and Bailey in the girls’ 4x100m for third place.

PHIL BAKER