Chichester’s juniors had their first taste of the new Sussex Sportshall League on Sunday and soon realised that this coming season is going to be as competitive as ever.
All four of the top track and field teams from the summer are in the league with Chichester joined by Horsham, Crawley and Brighton & Hove.
With many of Chichester’s 30 athlete squad competing at this level for the first time, the club did well to come away with many encouraging performances and a clutch of winning efforts.
In the under-15 boys, Jacob Piper made up for a slightly disappointing two-lap sprint with a fine vertical jump victory as well as a good shot put.
Oscar Hares showed good speed over two and four laps while Liam Dunne, whose strengths are over distances of 800 metres and beyond, showed great versatility with a four-lap win as well as just being edged out in the standing long jump with an effort of nearly 2metres 50.
For the girls in this age group, Fleur Hollyer showed good sprinting speed as well as her usual good form in the speed bounce and was backed up by all-round performances from Maya Solly, Hannah Carmichael and Clemmie Russell-Stoneham.
Things were no less competitive in the under-13 age group but Chichester had an unexpected and most welcome win with James Carmichael winning the speed bounce with a fine effort, not far off the league record.
The same athletes battled in the two-lap sprint while Oscar Rothwell formed a good partnership in the four-lap race while Harvey McGuiness and Gabryel White used their cross country endurance fitness in the gruelling six-lap race.
For the girls, there were good team performances on both track and field from Amberley Norris-Wharton, Charlotte Emsley, Izzy Lunn, Maddie Byers and Lucy Hollyer.
For the under-11’s it certainly was a baptism of fire with the standard in some events almost as good as in the older age groups.
Chichester’s squad stuck to their task and with the majority of the team only in school year 5, they will have the remainder of this season plus next season as well to get up with the best in the county.
The under-11 boys’ squad comprised William Green, Sam Cato, James Taylor, Jago Lomas, Digby Fulford, Seb Fenmor Collins and Oscar Reed. For the girls Laila Hellyer, Lillie Hellyer, Eva Lunn, Lola Hart and Catherine Dudman.