Personal bests help Chichester to strong display at Horsham

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Chichester’s improving indoor squad returned to Horsham for the second Sussex League fixture of the season and emerged with much credit.

They were involved in some of the fiercest competition seen in recent years including the breaking of a league record in the girls’ match which had stood for 20 years.

Horsham and Crawley were once again in fine form and with Brighton, Haywards Heath and East Grinstead all fielding impressive athletes, the Chichester competitors knew they had to be on their best form.

In the under-15 age group, several of the squad posted personal bests.

Jade Bailey and Caitlin Moore started the match with good sprint times, Bailey going on to be just edged out for second place in the speed bounce with a high score of 78 in the 30-second time period.

Mia Faulkner ran well in the longer four-lap race and combined well with Moore in the vertical jump.

For the boys, Peter Thomas was again up against the Sussex champion from Crawley in the shot and was just short of 11m for second place, with newcomer to the team Matt Dodd a useful B string.

Dodd had joined with Jake Emerson at the start of the match in the two-lap sprint to good effect while Emerson was in action in the four-lap, partnering Zac Hurst, who set the club’s fastest time of the day.

Hurst went on to share a three-way tie for the lead in the speed bounce with a score of 78, a good result but one Hurst feels he can improve on in the next match.

Alyssa White once again led the charge in the two-lap sprint with Anna Hains a good B string. Hains was joined by sister Katie in the four-lap. Also involved was the new record holder from Brighton, but both girls held their nerve and posted times just outside 53 seconds.

Amelia Freeman showed her best form to date in the six-lap and while none of the quartet is a specialist in the field events, they picked up useful points in vertical jump, triple jump, speed bounce and shot.

In the boys’ under-13s, Chichester had just two athletes available so drafted in three of the club’s improving under-11 squad.

Regulars Alex Austin and Harry Baldwin were up against quick sprinters from the other clubs but Austin posted another good time of just over 23 seconds for the two-lap race while B string runner Baldwin was just outside 25 seconds in his race.

Over the longer distances the under-11s stepped up to the mark with Harry Sage, Jonathan McGeogh and Joe Careswell giving a good account of themselves against older, more experienced competitors.

They showed their versatility by picking up useful points in shot putt and triple jump in their first attempts at these events in competition conditions.

The two under-11s who competed in their own age group were also up to the mark - Ned Potter and Ethan Brown scoring good points in the two-lap sprint, speed bounce and standing long jump.

These three events were also tackled by Caitlin Brown in the girls’ match, although the lack of a B string competitor meant valuable points were lost.

The next fixture in the league is on January 20, with the possibility of a return trip to Worthing the week before in the new Worthing and District League.

PHIL BAKER