Chichester have no need to worry as young athletes shine at Winchester

Chichester's under-13s and under-15s at Winchester / Picture by Tola Sargeant
Chichester's under-13s and under-15s at Winchester / Picture by Tola Sargeant

Chichester feared the worst going into their Youth Development League match at Winchester.

The majority of the under-15 girls’ squad was unavailable and they had to rely on the under-15 boys and the two under-13 teams to score most of their points.

But the 25 athletes in action all performed with credit to give the club another second place out of seven teams.

Host club Winchester again came out on top but it will be all to play for when Worthing host the final match of the season in July with Chichester needing their best all-round squad to keep up the momentum and gain one of the two promotion places.

Match score

1 Winchester & District 636pts

2 Chichester Runners & AC 419

3 Camberley & District 405

4 Woking AC 385

5 Aldershot, Farnham & District AC 358

6 Worthing & District Harriers 216

7 Havant AC 120

Under-15s

An excellent all-round display from the under-15 boys underpinned Chichester’ssuccess.

Across the range of events including sprints, middle distance, jumps and throws, the 11 boys were a match for all the other clubs.

Elijah Green and Arthue Dearlove showed good sprinting speed over 100m while Zack Keulemans and newcomer Ben Rose both turned in fast times over 200m at 25.2 and 25sec respectively.

Keulemans partnered Joe Mclarnon for a near perfect score in the 300m with both runners clocking 41.1sec, this after McLarnon had run an excellent tactical race win the 800m, with Charlie Pemberton nearly making it a double win in the B string.

Harvey McGuinness was again sub 4.40 in the 1500m with Toby Greatorex bravely ensuring the club maintained the pressure in the B string.

In the jumps Nathan Ewins and Cameron Wilson spearheaded the high jump and long jump respectively while the throws were once again a source of considerable success.

Keulemans showed his versatility with a shot put A string win with 9.77m while Hugo Martell followed up his second place in the B string with third in the discus and an A string hammer winning throw of just under 30m. Pemberton offered good B string support in both the latter events.

With Greatorex on form in the javelin it was left to the 4x100m and 4x300m relay teams to finish the match with a flourish with two storming victories.

The three under-15 girls all performed with credit in the absence of team-mates, the highlight being the brave 800m win by Cerys Dickinson.

Erin Hobbs ran well against high class opposition in the sprints while Chloe Noble picked up useful points in shot, discus and hammer.

Under-13s

There were encouraging performances from the under-13s, who are improving as the season progresses. The highlight of their performances came near the end of the match in the girls’ javelin where Tilly Hobbs threw over 24m for a convincing win, with Ellie Courtney securing maximum points with a B string win.

Hobbs partnered Juliette Franks in the shot, losing just one point between them, while Franks and Grace Bishop had the same result in the high jump.

Courtney and Bishop had started the match well in the hurdles while the Hellyer twins made their mark in their first match in this league.

Lillie Hellyer ran just over 2.40 in the 800m with versatile Courtney a reliable B string while twin sister Laila ran a mature tactical race in the 1200m, dropping in behind the leader before making a break at the start of the final lap to win convincingly in 4.17.2.

The under-13 boys were indebted to a quartet of Year 6 pupils to keep up the club challenge with only one Year 7 sprinter on duty, Josh Eaton.

On the track he was joined by Sam Cato in the sprints and Ollie Meaby in the hurdles while there was a new pairing of Henry Court and Digby Fulford in the 1500m, all four performing with credit.

The four ensured all the field events were covered by picking up good points in shot, javelin, high jump and long jump.