Chichester celebrate three county track and field golds

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Chichester athletes took advantage of the first fine weekend of the season to put in good performances in the county track and field championships at the K2 stadium in Crawley.

The city competitors came away with three golds and many minor medals including a host of personal-best performances.

One of the most convincing margins of victory went to Simon Cooke, who dominated the senior men’s discus with a best of just under 50m to continue his unbeaten run against other Sussex athletes.

Another to keep up his recent string of Sussex championship successes was George Grainger in the under-20 400m hurdles, though he needed all his experience in a very tight finish.

In the same age group pentathlete Isobel Brown struck gold in the high jump with for her a modest 1.60m but used her all-round ability to pick up medals in long jump, shot and javelin.

There were good performances from Chichester’s middle-distance squad with James Baker making a break in the senior men’s 5,000m with a mile to go. His valiant effort was nearly good enough for victory but a strong finish from Josh Guilmant from Phoenix relegated Baker to silver with a speedy 15.21 clocking.

A fine run from James McKenzie recorded 4.10.08, his fastest ever, in the under-17 men’s 1500m, which squeezed him out to fourth place. Harry Leleu and Josh James also had good runs.

Dan Eeles made the final of the 400m with 55.3sec while Zac Hurst set a new best of 5.11.02 in the boys’ under-15 1,500m and Josh Eeles notched a 2.35 clocking in the under-13 800m.

With Sussex middle-distance running at its strongest ever, especially in the junior age groups, fast times were the order of the weekend.

Tara Bage and Rose Ellis clocked 5.03 and 5.07 in the girls’ under-15 1,500m, both personal bests, while Emma Maynard, Lucy Ellis and Nicola Mead were fourth, fifth and sixth in the under-17 event.

Bage and Holly Beaton were in action in the 800m while there was much to celebrate from three of Chichester’s talented under-15 girls in the sprints and jumps.

Jess Breach, Abi Moss and Jade Bailey were all in action in the 200m with Breach making the final with a 28.1sec clocking.

The trio then turned their attention to the long jump, where Breach came away with gold thanks to a winning jump of 4.84m with Moss also over the 4m mark in ninth and Bailey just behind in 12th.