Junior and senior athletes in fine form for Chichester

James Baker completed a superb Portsmouth Lakeside 5k series
James Baker completed a superb Portsmouth Lakeside 5k series

Chichester’s under-15 athletes have been in action in the west division of the Sussex League and gained individual success despite not fielding a complete team at the last two matches.

Star of the team has been thrower Jay Lake, who notched a hat-trick of wins last Friday with three personal bests.

Following a shot putt of 10.66m, he then launched the discus 27.44m before nearly breaking the 30m barrier for the first time with a hammer throw of 29.24m.

Lake had an able deputy in Jonny Ball in the discus and hammer by winning the B string in the match at the end of July.

On the track, the club’s sprinting has been improving with every match with Brandon Bell, Tom Trotman and George Roberts showing impressive form. Bell and Zac Hurst have also stepped up to the demanding 300m, where the standard from other clubs has been consistently high with the winning times well under 40 seconds.

All-rounder Hurst has turned in good results in hurdles and high jump with Jack Blackman making his first appearance in the high and long jumps.

In the middle-distance events, Ball and Kai Terry have shown promise at 800m while Brodie Keates and Benedict Robinson have tackled the longer 1,500m to good effect.

For the girls, Mia Faulkner and Lauren Cooper have had to contend with record sprinting times from the other clubs, especially a very strong Crawley team, but have run well. Faulkner has competed well at long jump with Cooper gaining a good runners-up spot in the javelin.

Chichester will be hoping to have a full-strength team for the Sussex grand final on Friday, September 6, at the K2 Stadium in Crawley where the top ten Sussex clubs from the east and west divisions will be in action.

In last year’s final, Chichester finished a fine second behind Crawley by a narrow margin and the club will be hoping this year’s crop of athletes will keep up a record of never finishing outside the top three.

Chichester kept up their momentum in the fourth race in the Portsmouth Lakeside 5k series by winning both the men’s and women’s races.

Pre-race favourite James Baker lived up to his billing with a speedy 15.48min clocking in sweltering conditions. Close behind was veteran Chris Jack in 12th place in 17.17min, with Aaron Hancock 21st in 18.09.

Just behind was Rosie Hiles, in 23rd place overall and winner of the women’s race with a fine 18.11min clocking. Hiles was more than a minute clear of team-mate Jane Harrop, who was second in 19.23 - good enough to make her winner of the veteran women’s race.

There was further success for Chichester in the recent Stansted Slog, a half marathon across undulating countryside, with Baker adding to his career tally of more than 500 victories despite having to wait at one point for the second-placed runner to catch up to determine which path to follow.

Helen Pattinson won the women’s race in a fine 12th overall.

Chichester senior men and women will be in action this Saturday at the K2 in Crawley in their final Southern Athletics League fixture. It will be a chance for Chichester to put down a marker for next season.

They lie in mid-table but have been hampered by not having a full squad available to complete all 38 events of a nearly-full Olympic programme.

The men will be again led by multi-talented Charlie Roe and James Baker and will be boosted by the return of Tom Brown and Ollie Smith. There will be a first appearance of the season for club triple-jump record-holder Shane Mott.

The women’s squad will boast youth and experience on the track and in the field but with an overall squad of more than 20, Chichester will look to have their best all-round showing of the season.