Pupils put down markers for Sussex athletics selectors
Chichester-area pupils were in fine form at the West Sussex West track and field athletics championships in Portsmouth.
Points for their schools were at stake but performances were also scrutinised by selectors to nominate those who will go on to represent the area at the Sussex schools championships at the K2, Crawley, next month.
The day was a triumph for Bishop Luffa, who won three of the four junior and intermediate age groups – Seaford College preventing a clean sweep by winning the junior boys’ match. Seaford had by far the largest senior squad, with Chichester College also fielding promising athletes in the upper age group.
In the intermediate boys’ group a number of performances caught the eye. Sasha Mallam Anderson followed up a speedy 11.8sec in the 100m into a headwind with a 1.75m clearance in the high jump and a 13.06m best in the triple jump, which will rank him in the top-ten county jumpers for the season.
Bishop Luffa team-mate Cameron Airzee made it a clean sweep in the sprints with a 100m B and 200m A-string double.
Jamie Holmes notched a double win in the shot and discus with Will Broom adding to the points total with a comfortable 1,500m win.
Ben Collins scored a rare double for Chichester High School by winning the 800m and long jump before running as a guest in the 3,000m and winning in 9.36.8.
A hard-fought 400m saw Brandon Bell from Selsey Academy overhaul Dom Easton from Seaford College down the home straight while another Seaford athlete, Simon Ward, was well over 30m to win the javelin.
In the intermediate girls, Alyssa White from Chichester High Schools stormed home in both the 100m and 200m, having already gained English schools standards for both distances in a club competition.
A further long-jump win for White could not prevent her school being ousted from top spot by Bishop Luffa, for whom Grace Wills had one of the clearest wins of the day in the 1,500m. Felpham CC did well in third place spearheaded by Rachel Laurie in the 300m.
In the junior boys’ match, Seaford College broke Bishop Luffa’s monopoly with a convincing win by more than 30 points.
It was in the field events where they shone with a convincing double win from George Newton and Caelen Stanton in the shot putt while Stanton went on the support Rupert Blackwell in the javelin for another double first.
Tom Page was Seaford’s best performer with a fine 800m win as well as doubling to win high-jump B string.
For the runners-up, Chichester High School, Tom Seve shone with an impressive sprint double over 100m and 200m while Tom Claydon’s efforts in sprints and long jump almost gave Midhurst Rother third in the team standings but they were just three points behind Bishop Luffa.
In the junior girls’ match, in a virtual repeat of the Sussex cross country championships at Brighton in January, Olivia Macdonald from Seaford was joined at the front of the 1,500m by Olivia Wiseman from Bishop Luffa with Charlotte Bullard doing well the hang on to the pace of the leading two.
Macdonald was just able to pull away from her rivals over the final lap to come home in a fraction over five minutes, an excellent time in the conditions.
Good sprinting and long jumping from Martha Crosdil from Seaford and Rosie Compton from Bishop Luffa helped the two schools vie for top team spot but the all-round showing from Luffa won the day, epitomised by a double field event win in shot and discus from Eleanor Lowes.
For the Sussex schools championships on June 11 at the K2, the West Sussex West squad will be in good heart after these Portsmouth results.
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