Ollie Smith (Chichester Runners) competed for Harrow AC in the final round of the British Athletics League.
The 400m ace was recruited as a ‘higher-claim athlete’ to win points for Harrow in their battle to stay in division one.
Running against a high-quality field Smith knew he would be pushed to the limit to claim maximum points.
Smith lined up in lane three looking to execute his trademark blistering start. However, stumbling out of the blocks Smith found himself in the unusual position of having to play catch-up down the back straight.
Perhaps running his strongest bend of the season, Smith went through 300m in 34.42sec and two metres ahead of the field.
Smith powered down the home straight to win in a PB time of 47.74sec. This completed a hat-trick of PBs for Smith this season, having previously recorded lifetime bests of 10.8 and 21.9 seconds for the 100m and 200m.
Smith said: ‘This was the first year I have run an indoor and outdoor season. The competition schedule has been tough but provided me with an opportunity to compete against the best in Great Britain.
“I set myself a goal of running personal bests in the 100, 200 and 400m. Not only did I achieve this but I also became South of England champion and inter-counties champion.
“I am now looking forward to a three-week recovery period before sitting down with academics from the University of Chichester to plan my next phase of training.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Phil Baker from Chichester Runners who continues to be a source of inspiration to me.”
Chichester’s senior athletes go into their final league match at Worthing today (Saturday) hoping that a strong turnout will leave them with a respectable mid-table finish.
In some ways it has been a frustrating season as an inability to contest all the events in a demanding near-full Olympic programme has meant a number of great individual performances have not been reflected in the club’s overall team results.
Club records have been set in both men’s and women’s events, with Ollie Smith lowering the 100m club record to 10.8 seconds which means he holds all records up to 400m.
In addition both men’s and women’s 5,000m have been broken. Chris Zablocki was the first Chichester runner to break the 15-minute barrier earlier this season at Guildford and Rebecca Moore broke the club record and the Southern League record in the match at Portsmouth in July.
Saturday’s match will mark the end of the 23rd season in senior league athletics for the club and there will be one athlete in action at Worthing who was involved in the first fixture in 1994 – namely James Baker, who started as a 15-year-old and is now just a few months away from joining the veteran over-40 ranks.
He will be joined by fellow veterans Tim Brown and Andy Hall, who both compete in the throws, while at the other end of the age spectrum 15-year-old Alyssa White will be leading the women’s sprints, just one of the new crop of Chichester teenagers who have made their mark in the senior ranks this season.
The match is at Worthing Harriers home ground at the Durrington Sports Centre with the programme starting at midday.
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