There were five Sussex winners on a rain and windswept day at Horspath, Oxford, in the Southern U15 and U20 Inter-county match over the weekend.
Holiday’s played havoc with most County teams but the Sussex Under 15s excelled themselves with a brilliant second team spot scoring 123.5 points to the winning Kent team’s 124.5 while the decimated Under 20 squad, ably supplemented by some U17 athletes did exceptionally well to finish in sixth team place.
All in all it was a fine performance by the Sussex athletes many of whom had to battle with severe weather.
Ironically three of the winners came in the U20 match and each one was an U17 athlete.
Without doubt the star performer was Amber Anning who not only won the U20 100m in her one and only race over this distance this season. Her time into driving rain was a remarkable 11.79s which equalled the long standing former Sussex senior record by Carley Wenham. The time was also the second fastest by a British Under 17 this season.
Also in the U20 group Rafe Brooks, who has certainly ended his season on a high again improved his personal best when winning with a leap of 6.68m a leap that is just two centimetres shy of the best leap by a Sussex senior athlete this season.
The third U20 victory came from Natasha Purchas who, in very difficult conditions won the pole vault clearing 3.30m and also scored a point for eighth place in the high jump with 1.50m.
The other two victories came in the jumping events in the U15 group with William Snashall clearing 3.40m to win the pole vault and Ruby Jerges who leapt 5.16m to win the long jump.
Winners however do not always win team events.
The Sussex success in the Under 15 Southern Championship, and this applies to both teams was based on the commitment of the whole team and there were a host of second and third places.
Joseph Beal added nearly seven metres to his previous best hammer throw to place second with 46.55m, Pyers Lockwood took second in the 300m in 38.07s and Adam Lindo leapt 5.88s for second in the long jump while Lizzie Korczak was squeezed into second in javelin with 38.02m, Kelsey Sutherland cleared 10.28m in the triple jump and Millie Noyce putt the shot 12.13m and also threw 27.26m for sixth place in the discus throw.
In the U20s Joshua Persad raced into second place with a fine sub eleven second run, albeit it windy, in the 100m in 10.96s and also clocked 22.34s for fifth place in the 200m while Jessica Lambert, another U17 athlete, raced into second in the 400m hurdles in 66.19s and then offered to run in the 100m hurdles, for points, and finished seventh in 17.75s.
Back with the U15s there were third places for Poppy Oliver, 300m in 42.13s, Bethany Cook, 1500m 4:44.74s and Abigail Packham 1.55m in the high jump and also fourth in the 75m hurdles in 11.31s while in the boys events Seb Wallace was third in the 80m hurdles in 11.64s, Tom Ridley cleared 1.75m in the high jump and Charlie Finnie putt the shot 12.87m.
Sixth team place would have been considered a good placing for the Under 20s in most years but this year it was outstanding and second for the Under 15 is probably the best ever team placing for Sussex at these championships.