Preview Eng. Schools - Inter-Counties- SAL

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The pressure is really on this weekend with, hopefully, Sussex athletes in the final of the European Championships at Amsterdam, the Sussex Schools team in action at Gateshead on Friday and Saturday and the Senior Sussex athletes in action in the South East Inter-county match at Basingstoke on Sunday. In addition the fourth rounds of the Southern Athletics League are being held on either Saturday or Sunday with four teams involved in home matches.

The European Championships are already in action and the sixty strong Sussex School’s team will be heading north early Thursday morning to Gateshead with hopes of repeating their fine results from last year.

Then they came home with thirteen medals, four gold, and the best overall results for more than fifty years.

Livvy Connor will be defending her Senior (U19) girl’s title while another of last year’s champions, Joe Fuggle  Inter (U17) 400m hurdles has moved up an age group and will be one of the favourites in the senior 400m hurdles.

Much the same applies to Amber Anning who won the Junior (U15) 200m last year but will find it  quite tough as she takes on the Inter 300m event but she will be hoping for a place in the top two, which will mean a place in the English Schools team for the Schools International.

On paper the strongest Sussex age group is the Senior Boys, which in-spite of the withdrawal of Archie Davis from the 1500m, to compete in the World junior championships, still sees five members of the nine strong group with National Standard, rather than Entry standards under their belt.

The largest of the six groups is the Intermediate girls where fourteen athletes are making the trip.

Inter-County match

Looking into the future many of theses athletes will find themselves in the Sussex County senior team for Inter-county matches in a few year’s time and this year the no less than eighteen of Sunday’s team for Basingstoke have appeared in Sussex Schools teams.

Team manager Craig Cox confesses that this year’s team does not look quite as strong as last year when they recorded their best team results for several decades.

Southern Athletics League

Both these major events will seriously affect the strength of Sussex teams in the penultimate round of Southern Athletics League.

Crawley in Division one, Brighton & Hove in Two W and Worthing in Three SW have home matches on Saturday while Lewes Three SE has their home match on Sunday.

Eastbourne and Hastings are each on 14 points at the top of the Three SE table and in line for promotion at the end of the season though they are placed second and third on match points behind Epsom and Ewell.

Eastbourne travel to Gillingham and Hastings to Twickenham on Saturday while East Grinstead is amongst the visitors to Lewes on Sunday.

In Division Three SW Horsham Blue Star travel to Bournemouth and Chichester to Portsmouth.