Chichester youngsters speed through Sportshall challenge

Indoor Sportshall League action / Picture by Lee Hollyer
Indoor Sportshall League action / Picture by Lee Hollyer
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Chichester sent only a small group of under-13 and under-11 athletes to the Sussex Indoor Sportshall League fixture at Horsham on Sunday, they emerged with considerable success.

Between them, Maya Solly and Fleur Hollyer gained three A string first places with Solly a clear winner of the shot putt with a fine 8.37 effort.

After spending virtually all of 2016 concentrating on his straight-line sprinting speed, the Chichester athlete has started the new year in fine shape and knows he can mix things with the best in the country.

She then tied equal first in the vertical jump, one of only two athletes over the 50 mark.

Fleur Hollyer added to the tally with another win in the speed bounce with 81 in the 30 seconds allowed, one of the fastest in the history of the event and just a single point in front of her nearest challenger.

On the track, Solly posted Chichester’s fastest time in the two-lap while Clemmie Russell-Stoneham joined forces with cross country runner Hannah Carmichael in the four-lap.

Another of Chichester’s winter cross-country squad, Nicole Boltwood, showed her endurance fitness in the six-lap.

For the under-11s, Lucy Hollyer and Grace Bishop formed a good pairing in the two-lap sprint and long jump while James Carmichael had a consistent afternoon with a second place in the speed bounce and third places in the two-lap and long jump.

Heptathlon championships

Chichester multi-eventer Charlie Roe made the journey to Sheffield for the national indoor senior heplathlon championships and was rewarded with a fine fifth place overall.

It was his highest-ever placing in a national competition.

Currently studying for a masters degree at Warwick University, 24-year-old Roe was delighted to have shaken off most of the injury problems he suffered in 2016 and it was only in the long jump where he decided not to push things too far and settled for a jump of 1.90, some 11cm below his best.

In the other six disciplines, however, Roe gave it his best shot and was rewarded with six new all-time best marks.

On the track a very speedy 7.28sec clocking over 60m was followed by an equally impressive 8.76 over the 60m hurdles with the third track event over 1,000m in 2.40.00.

In the jumps, Roe was among the best on view in the long jump and was tantalisingly close to the magic seven-metre mark with a best of 6.89.

The pole vault resulted in a 3.81m effort and Roe is confident that with a bit more specialist coaching, a four-metres jump is within reach, this from an athlete whose main sport was gymnastics before he took an interest in athletics.

The final of the seven events in the indoor competition was the shot, with Roe’s best 11.86m, a good return for an athlete who is always one of the lightest in the field.

After spending virtually all of 2016 concentrating on his straight-line sprinting speed, the Chichester athlete has started the new year in fine shape and knows he can mix things with the best in the country.

Several of his competitors at Sheffield will have their eyes on qualification for the world championships later this year followed by the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018 and ultimately the 2020 Olympics in Japan and, if he continues to improve year on year, Roe could be one of the names the selectors have on their list.

Sussex Masters Cross Country

A strong team of Chichester Runners will travel to Lancing Manor this Saturday for the Sussex Masters County Cross Country Championships.

The tough downland course climbing steeply from the Lancing Leisure Centre offers a stiff challenge, although mud is not usually a problem.

Chichester will hope to field strong teams in all three men’s age groups with a new name in the over-40s where James Baker will be experiencing his first race where seniors will not be present.

Such is the standard in Sussex athletics these days that Baker will not have things all his own way and expects Brighton masters international Howard Bristow to be a major rival.

Rob Wiggins will be hoping to fight for medals in the over-60 age group, while Helen Dean will also be a factor in the over-55 women’s event, having performed strongly in the Sussex main championships earlier in the month.

In all five age group will be contested with Chichester having a realistic chance of medals in three.

Corporate Challenge

Fast runners, improvers and beginners can all start getting ready for the 2017 Corporate Challenge Road Race series, taking place on three Wednesday evenings around the streets of Chichester city centre.

This year’s dates are March 1, March 15 and March 29.

The 2017 series marks a milestone in the event’s history as the first race will mark the 25th anniversary of the challenge – the first race having taken place in late February 1992.

Forms are available on the Chichester Runners website with a link to the Corporate Challenge page. Queries can be sent to race director Phil Baker on philbaker5@btinternet.com

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