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Sussex XC League Match 2

Organisers of the Sussex league had to act quickly to find an alternative venue for the second fixture on Saturday 9th November and thankfully were able to rearrange the fixture to be held at Stanmer Park, Falmer, Brighton, one of the county’s favourite and best-established courses.

The day went off well with many great performances from a Chichester point of view and in despite of the latter part of the programme suffering a deluge, which left the normally dry chalk surface awash with torrents of water resulting in some of the most challenging conditions seen for many years.

Senior Men

Ironically it was in the final race of the day in some of the worst conditions where Chichester had the most success with two of the first three home for the first time in their history. On the first of three laps of the undulating parkland course it was the club’s pairing of Ned Potter and James Baker who passed the finishing post for the first time with a comfortable lead over the rest of the field. Both had achieved top ten placings at the opening fixture at Goodwood in October, but the pair seemed to be spurring each other on this time.

At two thirds distance they were joined by in form Max Dumbrell from Horsham who had unluckily taken a tumble at Goodwood. It was Ned who clung onto the Horsham man with James having to drop back, although safe in 3rd place. Coming into the downhill finish for the final time Ned made a last push for the line and was delighted to achieve his first ever senior victory by a couple of seconds from the Horsham athlete with James just over 20 seconds further back in third.

As an athlete who has been involved with the club since his Primary school days, Ned Potter has come steadily through the ranks but this current season has been a breakthrough year with a third fastest at the Goodwood relays followed by a win for the U20 on Saturday, leaving all the seniors in the field in his wake.

Will Boutwood had his first race back after a lay-off and was delighted with his 19th place while the rest of the first team was made up of U20’s with Brodie Keates 68th, Harry Sage 86th and David Bisatt 119th and 6th place in Division 1 for the team. For the B team Paul Stallard was 126th, Mike Moorcroft 130th, Tom Blaylock 154th and Peter Dunne 162nd with reserves Wim Amir 168th and Peter Anderson 173rd.

Senior Women & U17’s

With all age groups running together in the senior women’s race there was a mixture of youth and experience for the Chichester A team. Jane Harrop made her customary steady start and moved through the field over the second of the two laps to finish in 27th and easily top in the over 55 age category.

Not far behind was Maggie King in 29th and 8th in her U17 age group. Another U17 Nicole Boltwood in 52nd just got the better of Sophie Wright in 54th for another good showing of 5th team in Division 1 and making good strides to preserving Chichester’s status in the top division for another year.

For the B team Aleksandra Vargin in 64th was followed by Kim Nelson in 71st, Amanda Godfrey 82nd and Persephone Hagan 98th with reserve Wendy Whelan a fine 127th overall and just missing out on top of the over 65 spot, by just two seconds.

In the U17 men’s race held over the same 5K distance as the senior women, Liam Dunne was content to run with a well bunched leading pack of about a dozen runners over the opening half of the race in his first cross country race of the season. Gradually the group became whittled down until just three runners were left. It was late into the race that Liam decided to make his move and broke away from his rivals to win by a clear 10 seconds. In the same race Archie Sadler had another improving run in 28th and well in touch with the leading group for much of the race.

Juniors

While not managing any top three team placings, all Chichester’s U13’s and U15’s showed some encouraging signs and continued their steady improvement throughout the season against some quality opposition.

There was a top ten placing for Cerys Dickinson with a 9th place in the U15 girls’ race and good back up from Amelie McGurk in 20th, Tamsin Anelay 22nd, Gemma Appleton 23rd and Issy Isitt 25th. Likewise, good packing was the order of the day in the U13 race with Carrie Anelay leading the squad home in 12th followed closely by Laila Hellyer 15th, Anya Barrett 17th, Lillie Hellyer 19th and Millie Isitt 36th.

In the U13 boys race, Josh Dunne was unfortunate to suffer a shoulder stitch when in the leading group at half way and was almost reduced to a jog but still bravely managed to compete the course to finish in 24th just in front of Will Bailey in 25th with Alessandro Schmitt having another good run in 18th. There was a full B team in this age group with Josh Eaton in 42nd just getting the better of Digby Fulford in 47th and Sam Cato in 49th.

It was only in the U15 boys’ race where Chichester were unable to field a full team, losing athletes to a schools’ event on the same day. However, this did not discourage the pair of runners in action with Joe McLarnon finishing in 13th, but less than 30 seconds behind the winner, and newcomer to the team Finn Robertson a fine 25th and hardly any more distance further back.

As usual the programme opened with the two individual U11 races with William Allen 11th and Eden McDonald 19th in the boys’ race while Grace Howarth and Iona Sherwood were 11th and 16th respectively in the girls’ race.

There is a shorter than usual gap until the next Sussex League fixture with athletes returning to the same venue on Saturday 30th November.

 

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