Here’s what happened at Ashford last Sunday

Nine of our athletes joined with athletes from Haywards Heath and Lewes to form a composite team – under the name of Team Sussex – for the first under 17 and under 20 league match of the summer last Sunday. The match took place at the Julie Rose Stadium in Ashford in Kent and while it was sunny all day long there was a cold wind blowing most of the time – and which seemed to get colder as the afternoon progressed. And again it was the sprinters who found the wind against them.

As usual Sarah Killick-Bird got things away to a good start as she won the under 20 400 metres hurdles in a new best time of 69.26 seconds. And she also won the last individual track event of the day in the 1500 metres steeplechase in 6 minutes and 28 seconds. In between these two events she also won the B string triple jump with 9.40 metres, as well as taking part in the 100 metres hurdles and high jump. Our usual busy Sarah.

In another early event Sarah Rusling had trouble finding the take-off board in the under 20 long jump, but was more successful later in the afternoon in the triple jump where she again went over 10 metres with a best jump of 10.05 metres. Abby Beswick also doubled up in the long and triple jumps, this time in the under 17 events. She was close to her best in the long jump with 4.85 metres and also did a good 9.68 metres in the triple jump. Her 80 metres hurdles race was run into the strongest wind of the day and she came second behind a very accomplished hurdler from Horsham Katryna Bajorinaite.

Chloe Hollamby ran a powerful under 17 300 metres and was a clear winner in 42.20 seconds – a pity she had nobody to push her. In the 200 metres she battled well against the wind in 27.70 seconds but all the times in the race were well down on what the athletes have previously done. She finished with a discus throw of 22.75 metres. Gemma Francis was introduced to the hammer throw in the match at Eastbourne last week but this week she threw the hammer much further with a best throw of 13.49 metres – and later she added a javelin throw of 19.66 metres. Hannah Jones took another second off her best in the under 17 800 metres with 2 minutes 45.15 seconds and filled a gap in the shot putt. And Cara Burgess also did a good job in filling some gaps and earning points for Team Sussex. Chloe, Gemma and Hannah then provided ¾ of the Team Sussex under 17 4 x 300 metres relay team at the end of the day.

We only had 2 men competing and there was a good early win from Ryan Spivey in the under 20 high jump. He set a new personal best of 1.81 metres the previous week at Eastbourne and improved on this with a winning jump of 1.85 metres. He also produced a win in the javelin with a throw of 44.48 metres and won the B string shot with 11.31 metres. He still had time for a second place in the 110 metres hurdles in 16.49 seconds. Daniel Rusling’s best performance came in the long jump where his best was 5.55 metres, an improvement on what he did at Eastbourne last week. His afternoon was completed with a triple jump off of his wrong foot of 10.95 metres, the 100 metres and a rediscovery of the javelin where he threw a very respectable 24.35 metres. Both Ryan and Daniel were part of the Team Sussex 4 x 100 metres relay squad.

Team Sussex were ahead in the match at one time but towards the end  Ashford and Crawley both overtook us. Ashford were just ahead of Crawley at the end with just under 600 points while Team Sussex were third with just over 500 points. The other 4 teams – Bexley, Horsham, Medway & Maidstone and the combined Invicta East Kent/Paddock Wood team – were a long way behind us.

The teams compete again on Sunday June 2nd, this time at Lewes.

A reminder of what’s happening this week

Tuesday April 30th – training for all at Imberhorne from 7

Wednesday May 1st – last day for entries to Sussex County Championships

Thursday May 2nd – training for all at Imberhorne from 7

Saturday May 4th – under 13 and under 15 match at Lewes. Meet at Lewes track by 10.

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