Chichester had one of their most successful days ever in the Sussex Cross Country Relay Championships held at Goodwood Country Park, emerging with six team medals and seven athletes with top three fastest lap times across a wide range of age groups.
First to race were the under-13s with Chichester having their best turnout for many years fielding four full teams of under-13 boys and three girls' teams.
It was the girls who came away with the medals after Lillie Hellyer, Anya Barrett and Laila Hellyer earned well deserved bronze medals in third place.
There was also a top 10 scoring place for the B team of Carrie Anelay, Poppy King and Millie Isitt.
For the boys, Josh Dunne produced a storming opening leg for the A team with a time of 10.03, good enough for second fastest lap overall with Henry Court and Noah Campbell running good legs to bring the team home in seventh.
Chichester had two more teams in the top 10 with the B team of Stanley Wilkes, Will Bailey and Alessandro Schmitt in ninth while one place behind were Sam Cato, Josh Eaton and Digby Fulford.
The D team of Charlie Banham, Ollie Meaby and Seb Fenmor Collins were 14th with reserve Adam Mainwaring also posting a good time.
There was a good overall standard in both the boys and girls under 15 races with both Chichester teams finishing in the top seven and not far from the medallists.
Joe McLarnon produced the fastest junior lap with a 9.46 opening leg and with good support from Gabe White and Hal Edgar, the trio finished just over a minute behind the medals with reserve Luke Cobden gaining useful experience.
For the girls Cerys Dickinson ran a strong opening leg with support from Tamsin Anelay, Gemma Appleton and reserve Izzy Isitt to finish sixth team.
Senior and veteran women
With all age groups running together in the senior women’s race, it gave an opportunity for Chichester’s under 17s to race against the seniors which they did with good effect with Nicole Boltwood, Maggie King and Amelia Bromell plus reserve Rose Potter finishing in fifth place and beating many of the senior teams in the process.
Chichester’s senior team of Sarah Morris, Sophie Wright and Catherine Betts finished 9th in their age group but were beaten home by the under 17s plus two medal winning veteran teams.
It was in fact the club’s over 35 A teams who were the first to finish with Fay Cripps, Sarah Fenmor Collins and Alexandra Vargin picking up team bronze after Cripps had run a storming opening leg for the second fastest of the day.
In the same age group Vicky Balandis, Julia Hammond and Nicola Jolly brought the B team home in sixth while not far behind in eighth were the C team of Elaine Cruttenden, and two over 55’s Sandra Nemorin-Noel and Wendy Whelan.
The over 45s were just outside the medals in fourth thanks to Sandra Balcombe, Nadia Anderson and Emma Wickens while it was in the over 55 age group that Chichester had their only outright team win of the day with a gold medal performance from Jane Harrop, Amanda Godfrey and Helen Dean with Harrop a full two minutes faster than anyone else for fastest lap while Dean snatched the second fastest from the clutches of the usually all-conquering Arena 80 team.
Senior and veteran men
Chichester’s senior men’s A fielded a completely new quartet from the previous year and produced a fine all-round performance to finish a close second behind reigning champions, Brighton & Hove and with more than three minutes to spare over third placed Worthing Harriers.
Ned Potter gave them a fine start with the third fastest overall time on leg one and with good support from Ben Morton, veteran James Baker and Conrad Meagher, they finished in one of the club’s fastest times on record in 51 minutes 40.
For the B team, Liam Dunne ran the second fastest under 17 leg to open and with support from Ben Collins, Archie Sadler and Harry Sage, they finished in fourth.
For the C team senior Billy Simmonds and Rob Stapely were joined by over 50s Jeremy Harrison and Peter Anderson to finish a creditable 10th.
There was success in the veteran age groups with the over 40 team of John Peters, Gary Williams, Nick Fenmor Collins and Aaron Baker finishing fifth while all the other three teams brought home medals.
The over 50s of Tim Brown, Andy Wingham, Wim Amir and Paul Stallard won silver as did the over 60 A team of Richard Miles, Tony Cooley and Tom Blaylock while the over 60 B team followed the A team home in bronze thanks to the efforts of Richard Ayling, Peter Dunne and Trevor Baker.
Miles was awarded second fastest lap and the day was capped for Chichester with James Baker’s run for the senior team the fastest over 40 lap of the day by over half a minute.