He didn’t win a race - but he won the Corporate Challenge series

John Morrey (990) was the overall A race series winner   C140335-12
John Morrey (990) was the overall A race series winner C140335-12

THE dust has settled on the Chichester Corporate Challenge road-race series - and the overall results recognise the consistency of those who have come away with medals.

In some cases the hot favourites have prevailed - but elsewhere new names have come to the fore.

This was most evident in the senior men’s category where the winners of the three separate races each missed one of the evenings and therefore did not qualify for series awards.

Kevin Mason, Darryl Hards and James Baker were the only three to post sub-14 minute times but had other commitments in one of the busiest times of the year for middle-distance runners.

This left two of Worthing’s youngsters taking the series honours - John Morrey and Jack Woods posting aggregate times of 42.19 and 42 50 respectively.

Simon Gill, running for Chichester College Staff, just edged out ex-junior course record holder Chris West in third and special mention goes to fifth-placed Colin Dixon from DSTL, whose times varied by only seconds over the three races.

Things were more clear-cut in the women’s race with unbeaten Emma Macready posting one of the best-ever series aggregates - 45.31 - in front of equally-consistent Emma Montiel. Chichester runner Fay Cripps, running for Littlegreen School, just held off improving Kari Mack in third, with Hannah Croad fifth for the Chichester under-17s.

In the team awards, there was another convincing win for the reliable DSTL Portsdown West squad with an impressive nine-minute margin over Chichester College Staff, with Chichester Cathedral third.

In the sports category, there were four teams under the three-hour barrier for the first time with the younger Worthing Harriers team of Eddie’s Secrets just getting the better of the GP Flyers, with Chichester own Flyers in third.

There was a well-deserved win for Bosham School Staff, led by Polly Neville, in the women’s section in front of a good WSCC team while Chichester’s under-17 women had a massive 14 minutes to spare over WSCC Ladies in the sports teams.

One of the most competitive parts of the series is always the primary age group and this year was no exception.

There was a new name on the honours board in the boys’ race with Stanley Kingshot beating Ben Woolnough from Rose Green by an aggregate of one second - 9.20 over 9.21 for their best two races. With the help of third-placed Liam Dunne, Kingshot led his Westbourne Primary team to a 47-second win over Jessie Younghusband with Fishbourne in third.

Unbeaten over the series, Charlotte Bullard from Central School scored an impressive time of 9.57 for her two best races in front of Eloise O’Neill from Locks Heath.

Third-placed Lily de Lacy led Jessie Younghusband to a convincing 87-second team win over St Richards, with Central in third.

Showing the spread of schools taking part in this year’s series, the individual medals were shared among nine schools with the winners of the eight races coming from six of the schools.

The only two schools who were double gold-medal winners were Bishop Luffa and Churchers School.

Bishop Luffa had winners in the youngest and oldest of the girls’ races. Olivia Wiseman dominated the Year 7 event with a 40-second margin over Hampshire duo Madeline Wilton and Bo Samson. In the Year 10 races, Saskia Gardam had a 20-second gap over team-mate Amber Westron with Kathryn Simpson from Swanmore in third.

Elsewhere in the girls’ races, there was a good battle in the Year 9 races where Hampshire athletes dominated proceedings. Elizabeth Hedley from Petersfield School posted the best girls’ aggregate - 13.54 - with Lizzie Rose from Churchers and Masie Grice from Cams Hill the only two other under 14.30.

The biggest winning margin came in the girls’ Year 8 race with Anya Pigden from Churchers winning convincingly from Chloe Croad from Selsey Academy and Emily Guiry from Portsmouth Grammar.

The Year 9 boys’ race saw the other Churchers win with Ted Yates in fine form and having more than a minute to spare over Ben Morton from Bishop Luffa and William Wall from Petersfield.

In the Year 7 race, Callum Crook from Crofton was too quick for Bishop Luffa pairing of Ned Potter and Jeremy Sharp while Harry Blay from Priory School led the Year 10 rankings from Adam Croad from Selsey Academy and Kieron James of Crofton.

The final individual medals went to Ben Collins of Selsey Academy, with a fine return to form giving him a 22-second margin over Lachlan Wellington from Cams Hill, who had two seconds to spare over Leo Stallard from Bishop Luffa.

A tribute must be paid to the combined strength of the Bishop Luffa squad, who became the first school in the event’s history to claim all six team prizes. Next most prominent were Midhurst Rother with two silver and two bronze with Felpham, St Philip Howard and Chichester High School also featuring in the medals.