Sussex XC League - Match 1

The recent rain did not stop the Sussex Cross Country League from getting off to a fine start at Goodwood Country Park on Saturday 12th October 2019.

Athletes from across the county did battle on similar courses to the relays held two weeks previously although conditions underfoot on this occasion were more challenging, especially for the two senior races at the end of the day. The 70 strong Chichester Runners squad gave a good account of themselves in all age groups with the best team results coming from the veteran women and the senior men who both lie in second place at this early stage of the season.

U11 Boys & Girls

The U11 age group has been added to the programme in recent years as an addition to the main league races and 14 of Chichester youngest section of the club took advantage of the fixture, some having their first competitive taste of running in club colours.

In the boys’ race, Chichester had two finishers in the top half dozen with William Allen a fine 5th in his first race for the club with more experienced Stanley Wilkes just behind in 6th. Eden Macdonald also made the top 20 in 15th place and was followed by Ethan Cooper 28th, Hayden McGregor 30th, Ellis Fisher 31st, Tom Harrison 32nd and Ethan O’Donnell 33rd.

Grace Haworth also made the top 10 with 9th place in the girls’ race followed by Isla Hill 22nd, Louisa Fenmor Collins 24th, Anya Dickinson 25th, Sophie Anthony 27th and Mia Court 29th

U13 Boys & Girls

In addition to the U17’s running in the senior women’s race, Chichester fielded a further 40 juniors at Goodwood, no less than 16 of which were in the U13 races at the start of the main programme.

It was in the boys’ race where Chichester had their sole outright winner of the day when Josh Dunne showed a clean pair of heels to his rivals, overturning the result of the relays where he had to settle for second fastest. After taking an early lead on the 3000 metres course, Josh maintained a gap until the finish with his Crawley rival next to finish. Improving runs from Alessandro Schmitt in 21st and Will Bailey in 26th gave the trio 48 points to lie in 5th in the team rankings.

Good packing from Noah Collins in 40th, Digby Fulford 44th and Ethan Hill brought the B team home in  15th while the C team comprised Alex Sydenham in 50th, Charlie Banham 57th and Seb Fenmor Collins 61st for 19th team placing.

Chichester top four in the girls’ race were separated by just 11 seconds with on this occasion Carrie Anelay leading the squad home in 13th, closely followed by Laila Hellyer in 15th and Florence Ingram 16th and equal the boys placing of 5th team, well in touch with the leaders. Anya Barrett led the B team home in 17th supported by Lillie Hellyer in 20th and Sophia Birchall 38th with reserve Millie Isitt in 329th for 8th team placing.

U15 Boys & Girls

There was another 5th team place from the U15 girls with Cerys Dickinson having her best run of the season in 8th place followed by Tamsin Anelay in 18th and Issy isitt 24th for 50 points for the A team. Reserves Gemma Appleton and Marcie Faggetter were close in support in 26th and 31st respectively.

There was also good packing from the U15 boys with Hal Edgar in 19th, Gabe White 26th and Max Sydenham 28th for 73 points and 8th team. The only age group where Chichester failed to field a team was in the U17 men that saw Archie Sadler have a solid run in 21st place in a high quality field.

Senior Men

It was in the final race of the day where Chichester had their most unexpected result of the whole nine race programme with the senior men finishing runners-up to reigning champions Brighton & Hove in Division 1, reproducing the result in the relays. With 3 of the 4 relay silver medallists again on duty it was in-form U20 Ned Potter who led the squad home in an excellent 5th place and 2nd U20 to finish. Evergreen James Baker ploughed his way through the field after a steady start to maintain his remarkable run going back 20 years. Last Saturday’s 9th place was the 54th time in succession that the 42-year old has finished in the top 10 in a Sussex league race, a sequence which he started in 2000. Tom Le Lievre was not far behind in 26th, followed in by Conrad Meagher 27th and veteran John Peters in 30th. Newcomer to the team Tim Warner closed the scoring 6 in with 55th for a team total of 152 points, edging out Haywards Heath and Brighton Phoenix with only Brighton & Hove in front.

There was more good news from the B team with Harry Sage in 64th, Chichester University student Daniel Yorke 71st, over 60 veteran Richard Miles 92nd and Jon Edgar 95th for 4th spot in Division 3 and a chance to move up into Division 2 for next season.  Rob Stapely led the C team home in 99th with good packing from Andrew Walker 100th, Paul Stallard 108th and David Bissatt 110th.

With the club showing their best strength in depth for several seasons, there was a full D team for the club with the luxury of two reserves. Mike Moorcroft in 111th was followed by Tom Blaylock in 127th, David Grove 131st and Wim Amir 137th with over 70 Peter Shaw 138th and Peter Anderson  139th. There was more good news team wise with the veteran trio of James Baker, John Peters and Richard Miles lying fourth in the veterans’ team category and added to this all three are well placed in their respective age groups.

Senior Women

With the senior women’s race comprising all age groups from U17, senior and through to the veterans age groups, there was much to play for both in terms of team positions but also ranking places I the various age groups.

Chichester have maintained their Division 1 status for nearly a decade and this year’s top quartet did not disappoint with the Chichester Half Marathon winner Fay Cripps leading the club home in a fine 14th place in a high-quality field, headed by track international Beth Kidger from Brighton Phoenix. Next home was over 55 Jane Harrop, employing her usual tactics of a steady start and moving gradually through the field over the undulating and challenging 5K circuit. The club’s top

U17 Maggie King was next home in 33rd and 10th in her age group while new member and ex Surrey County runner, Emily Alden, completed the scoring in 35th for 5th place in Division 1 and well in touch with the top 3.

As with the men’s race, Chichester were out in force with the women with the B team comprising two U17’s in Nicole Boltwood in 48th (18th under 17) and Amelia Bromell 71st (21st under 17) with veteran Kim Nelson in 74th For the  C team it was Amanda Godfrey who led home the rest in 75th, supported by Elaine Cruttenden in 109th  and top over 65 Wendy Whelan in 112th.

There was more good news in the team age group races as the veterans’ trio of Fay Cripps, Jane Harrop and Emily Alden lie in 2nd place behind Arena 80 while the U17 team are just outside the medals in 4th place behind three string Brighton based teams.