Chichester athletes top of the three after record show at Portsmouth
A squad of 26 athletes pulled off a convincing win by a club record 200 points in the latest round of the National Junior Athletics League for under-17s and under-20s at Portsmouth.
Having had to concede first place to hosts Winchester in the first match of the season, the squad have gained strength to sit clear at the top of the table with just one fixture to come at the end of July.
While there were useful additions to the field events at Portsmouth, it was on the track that Chichester made their mark with the women slightly more dominant than the men.
Jess Breach flew down the 100m track to win in a new personal best of 12.4sec, equal to a much-coveted grade-one standard.
Alex Fryday and Caitlin Moore showed good speed to give Chichester 25 out of 27 points in the event.
Fryday and Moore repeated their success in the 200m while all three showed all-round prowess in the field events with Breach winning the shot, Fryday the long jump and Moore just squeezing into second in the triple jump.
Equally effective were the club’s performances in the middle-distance races, where Chichester were dominant.
Rosie Ellis was well under 2.30 and 5.00 in recording a double win in the 800m and 1,500m, pulling away from the opposition in the second half of each race. Needing three athletes per event in this league, Chichester were fortunate to have strength in depth in Charlotte Reading and Hannah Croad.
In the 3,000m, Emma Maynard, Georgina Warner and Nicola Mead all ran to form while Maynard and Mead tackled the 1,500m steeplechase to equally good effect.
Elsewhere on the track, there was another good 300m from Holly Beaton while Clare Fraser tackled the 400m hurdles.
There was a new personal best for Amy Brown with a winning clearance of 2.50m in the pole vault, while namesake Isobel Brown turned her hand to discus and javelin and Zoe Nunn scored a good crop of points in hammer, discus and triple jump.
The men had a good all-round day, Collins Alfred getting them off to a good start with a personal best of 11.8sec in the 100m, though he had to settle for second place behind a national-standard Winchester athlete.
Reuben Truman backed up well in the 100m and proceeded to score useful points in the 400m and triple jump while Alfred was joined by Andrew Bysouth for two quick timings in the 200m.
As with the women, Chichester’s men showed great strength in depth in the middle-distance events with Conrad Meagher, Ed Gerwat and Harry Lyne setting the tone in the 800m and Josh James having a good 1,500m win, supported well by Robin Elms.
Casey Keates and Harry Pink joined Meagher in the 3,000m to give the club, combined with the women, its best-ever points haul over the three events.
Summoning up energy at the end of the match, James, Meagher and Lyne negotiated the barriers and water jump in the steeplechase without mishap in another show of strength.
In the field events, Peter Thomas and Jack Graham caught the eye - with Thomas having his best all-round competition of the season with near-best marks in shot, discus and hammer.
Graham spearheaded the high jump, triple jump and long jump and with just two specialist field event competitors competing, the rest of the squad stepped up to give good support and ensure Chichester’s points tally was kept moving.
1 Chichester 583pts
2 Winchester & District 377
3 Havant & Isle of Wight 298
4 Portsmouth 194
5 Woking 139
6 Fleet & Crookham 92