Youth Development League (UAG)

Chichester Runners & AC opened their U17 and U20 National League (UAG) campaign at Walton on Sunday 5th May 2019 against some of the strongest opposition in the south with all 18 members of the squad giving a good account of themselves. 


Along with host club Walton AC and Southampton City, Chichester were the only other single club in the match. Over the winter Portsmouth have joined forces with Winchester, already strong clubs, whilst Salisbury have amalgamated with the Bournemouth/New Forest squad for this league and Team Dorset have combined three clubs for several years.  While finishing sixth out of the six clubs, Chichester were not outclassed by any means and with a stronger squad next time, a top three placing should not be beyond them.


Match Result:

1. Portsmouth & Winchester Combined                                     650 points

2. Bournemouth / New Forest / Salisbury                                   442

3. Walton AC                                                                              365

4. Team Dorset                                                                           337

5. Southampton City                                                                   305

6. Chichester                                                                              258


Women’s Match

With a slightly bigger squad than the men, it was no surprise that the 10 athlete women’s squad contributed more than half the points with the sprints and throws particularly well represented. In fact, it was in one of the throwing events, the U17 women’s discus, which produced Chichester’s best result of the whole day with the combination of Maya Solly and Alexia Everley winning the “A” and “B” strings respectively and gaining a maximum 16 points for the club in the process.


Earlier Maya Solly had also won the “B” string shot, supporting Millie Grant who threw close to 10m for third in the “A” string event while Millie Grant and Alexia Everley picked up more good points in the hammer. In the U17 sprints, Fleur Hollyer and Emily Russell battled hard against some stiff competition into a strong headwind in both 100m and 200m with both girls contributing to a combined 4 x 100m relay team with the U20’s. Elsewhere on the track, Nicole Boltwood ran a consistent 800m and teamed up with Maya Solly in the 300m.


For the U20’s it was again one of the throwing squad, Lucie Munday, who had the best results with a runner-up in both shot and hammer and third in the discus to give a total of 20 points from her three events, the best Chichester women’s total of the day. Not far behind was Rachel Laurie with a new personal best by a tenth of a second for a 61.9 clocking in the 400m as well as good runs over 100m and 200m.  Florence Smith and Phoebe Pontet both secured third places in the triple jump and 100m respectively before joining forces with Fleur Hollyer and Nicole Boltwood for the final event of the match, the 4 x 400m relay for a stirring all round display, holding off a fast finishing Bournemouth quartet for a brave runners-up spot.


Men’s Match

With eight athletes in action, evenly split between the U20 and U17’s, it was the U20’s who provided two of the top three Chichester performances of the day. Fresh from a successful rugby season, Alfie Spurle had a good all-round day in his first athletics match of the year. Showing good versatility, he mixed two track races over 400m and 800m with two jumps and recorded his best result in a second place in the “A” string triple jump for a total of 24 points from his four events. 


Ben Collins joined Alfie Spurle in the long jump before gaining two runners-up places over 800m and 1500m for 20 points although all athletes had to settle for slowish times in the middle-distance races in difficult, swirling conditions. In the sprints, Max Lambkin and Cellan Robinson battled hard in very high-quality field in the sprints and were rewarded with good times against the strong headwind.


For the U17’s all four athletes had their first taste of this standard of competition, having progressed from last season’s U15 squad. DJ Barth, Will Simmons and Toby Payne picked up good points between them over 100m and 200m as well as in the jumps with Will Simmons in the long jump while DJ Barth and Toby Payne scored the second best event tally of the day with second “A” string and first “B” string respectively in the triple jump. In the distance events, Bradley Holder flew the flag for Chichester in both 1500m and 3000m for two personal best times, a fine achievement for his first match at the age group.