U15 Sussex Track Final

With their best all-round performance of the season, Chichester’s U15’s kept up their fine tradition with another top three placing in the Sussex Grand Final at the Withdean Stadium, Brighton on Friday 31st August 2018.


Having been hampered by the unavailability of a few key athletes in league matches over the summer, Chichester were able to call on nearly a full-strength squad for the final and those who were called up as replacements raised their game to do the club justice. Having finished runners-up to a dominant Crawley squad for the past three years, Chichester knew they would have to be at their best to maintain their record of never having finished outside the top four out of the best ten teams in Sussex. 


With the pole vaulters and hammer throwers having got the club off to a flying start in the opening two events of the programme, Chichester produced a series of above par performances to keep neck and neck with a Brighton squad, reckoned to be their best ever in this competition. With only Crawley clawing their way ahead, the other seven clubs were left standing with a massive 100 points separating the top three from the rest. After three hours of intense competition and with only the four relays to come, Crawley were well clear and assured of victory with just half a dozen points separating Brighton in second and Chichester hard on their heels in third.


Storming runs from both boys’ and girls’ squad in both the 4 x 100 relay and the equally exciting 4 x 300 relay saw Chichester just have the edge but it was Brighton who secured the runners-up spot by a mere four points out of over 400 scored for each club. Closest rivals Horsham, East Grinstead and Worthing could not match the top three and were left trailing to scrap for 4th, 5th and 6th. Of the remainder Lewes got the better of Eastbourne, Haywards Heath and Brighton Phoenix who brought up the rear. As can be seen from the overall points table below, Chichester and Brighton are tied for second place since the league began in 2010 behind unbeaten Crawley.


Match result for 2018:

1. Crawley AC                      486 match points

2. Brighton & Hove              406

3. Chichester                        402

4. Horsham Blue Star          298

5. East Grinstead                 258

6. Worthing & District          208

7. Lewes AC                         135

8. Eastbourne Rovers           88

9. Haywards Heath                85

10. Brighton Phoenix            79


Overall League table 2010 – 2018


1. Crawley AC                      90 league points

2= Chichester                       74

     Brighton & Hove             74

4. Horsham Blue Star          53

5. Lewes AC                         45

6. Eastbourne Rovers         41

7. Worthing & District          35

8. East Grinstead                 32

9. Haywards Heath              23

10. Brighton Phoenix          10


Girls Match

A well-balanced squad of a dozen athletes scored excellent points across the board with the pairing of Millie Grant and Brooklyn Santer-Smith, the latter making her first league appearance for the club, the most prolific in the throws. From a solid hammer at the beginning of the match, battling against two athletes over 40m, the duo then scored near maximum points in the shot with just the two Crawley athletes ahead before going one better in the discus with just a single Worthing thrower edging in front. A tally of 54 points out of 60 between them set a new Chichester record for a pair of athletes in any three events.


Elsewhere on the field there was a surprise win for Elise Pullen in the high jump, winning on countback with a height of 1.50m with Cerys Dickinson supporting well with a new personal best for third place in the “B” string. Both Skye and Maisie Sadler were close to 2m in the pole vault with both clear at 1.90, good enough for a third “A” string and second “B” string for a very useful 17 points to add to the club score.


On the track, the combination of Fleur Hollyer and Sophie Dudman proved very effective over the sprints and hurdles. Fleur has made great strides this season, setting personal bests by some margin in the sprints and did not disappoint on Friday with a battling 13.4 100m for third “A” string, equaling her personal best and a 27.8 200m for second place. With Sophie Dudman notching a couple of third places in the “B” string.


In the hurdles, the Chichester placings were reversed with both athletes setting new best times, Sophie Dudman 12.5 for runner-up spot in the “A” string and Fleur Hollyer’s 14.0 good enough for third in the “B” race. Elsewhere on the track, Maria Austin and Emily Weymouth made a solid pairing in the 300m as did Cerys Dickinson and Nicole Boltwood over 800m. Twins Isobel and Eva Buckler were only separated by a fifth of a second after a hard fought 1500m and were rewarded by a pair of runners-up spots behind Brighton’s pairing of county representatives.


Boys Match

As with Chichester’s girls’ squad, the boys were indebted to the throwers for the largest haul of points. Multi-eventer Oliver Beach opted to stick to field events for this fixture and started the evening with a runners-up spot in the hammer with team mate Sam Spiby comfortably winning the “B” string. The pair went one better in the discus with a double first before Jack Wadman joining Oliver Beach for another maximum in the shot with both Chichester athletes over 10m. An amazing 59 points out of a possible 60 was the reward for the efforts of the three Chichester athletes.


There was more to come as Sam Spiby was close to 35m in his number one event, the discus supported well by Seamus McCormack with 25m in the “B” string resulting in a couple of third places. In the jumps, Ollie Sanderson’s 5m plus long jump was the best for third place while Archie Sadler cleared 2.10 for fifth place in the pole vault in a very high-class competition with the competition being won by Horsham’s Dan Deardon with a league equaling clearance of 3.76 putting him at No. 2 in the 2018 UK rankings for the age group.


On the track it was Ollie Sanderson who caught the eye in both the 100m and 200m. In recording Chichester’s best times of the year his 12.7 and 25.6 were rewarded by a couple of third places with the two in front of him high in the national rankings on both occasions. Jack Wadman and Ben Wadey offered good support with Ben less than a second behind his team mate for second place in the “B” string 200m. Newcomers Jacob Andrews and George Goldsmith added strength to the track squad from 300m upward and there were two new pairings in the middle-distance events.   Archie Sadler dropped down a distance to join up with Seamus McCormack in the 800m while Sam Corbett and George Goldsmith picked up useful points in the 1500m, the two Chichester runners separated by just over a second at the finish.


Two stirring relays ended the programme with Chichester beating Brighton on each occasion but with not quite enough daylight between the teams to pull the club ahead in the match. The club’s whole squad, however, can be congratulated on putting up such a fine showing to finish off the season.