Amber and Ben Strike Gold

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There was more glory and medals for Sussex youngsters at the English U15/17 Track and Field championships at Bedford over the weekend including two titles plus three Sussex records.

Again pride of place must go to U17 Worthing thrower Ben Hawkes who retained his unbeaten Hammer record this season with another crushing victory with 71.91m but he also added a silver medal in the discus throw with a personal effort of 52.70m, which is also a new Sussex record. Hawkes very nearly collected another medal in the shot putt placing fourth with 15.24m.

The second title went to Brighton & Hove’s Amber Anning who took the U17 200 metre crown when she trounced the opposition by more than half a second in a personal best of 23.76s.

This however was not a Sussex record, as 14 years ago Crawley sprinter, Carley Wenham, was almost as prodigious as Anning has been this season. As a U17 performer Wenham set the 200 metres records for U17/U20 and seniors at 23.59s a time that even survived at the senior age group until Kimbely Baptiste broke it this year.

Although not a record Anning’s time is the third fastest time by a Sussex sprinter of All-time and is an excellent effort as she clocked this unpressed and on the day after returning from holiday. Anning now tops the UK rankings for 200m, 300m and 400m and is third over 60m. 

There were four other silver medals to go with Hawkes discus silver. In the U15 high jump Tom Ridley from Worthing soared over 1.86m for victory and a Sussex record bettering the 1.84m mark first set by Brighton & Hove’s Terry Dennis way back in 1983 and equalled by Michael West (Hastings) in 2005 while Brighton & Hove’s Lizzie Korczak broke her own U15 javelin record by three metres after a great battle with Scotland’s Kirsty Costello who threw 43.70m to the Sussex girls 43.62m.

Also in the U15 age group Ivo Pitts (Crawley) struck silver in the Boys javelin throw with a personal best of 54.47m and club mate Abigail Packham cleared 1.61m in the high jump for a silver.

Still with the U15s Horsham’s Seb Wallace took the bronze medal in the long jump leaping 6.12m and he also finished seventh in the triple jump with 11.97m and Crawley’s William Snashall cleared 3.41m for a bronze in the pole vault.

The third bronze medal came in the U17 1500m where Tom Eames clocked 3:55.09s after a great battle.

There were near misses in the U17 pole vault where Crawley’s Natasha Purchas cleared 3.51m for fourth place and in the U15s Horsham’s Peanut Meeking set a PB of 39.11m for fourth place in the javelin throw and Gemma Tutton from Lewes cleared 3.06m in the pole vault.

Millie Noyce (Crawley) finish fifth in the U15 shot putt with 11.89m and Kelsey Sutherland (Worthing) also placed fifth in the U15 triple jump with 10.57m while Lucy Bayo (Crawley) and Amy Spencer (Lewes) shared sixth place in the U15 pole vault with 2.51m.

Crawley’s Poppy Oliver picked up two seventh places clocking 42.09s in the U15 300m and 11.67s in the 75m hurdles while in the U15 200m Ruby Anning (Brighton & Hove), Amber’s young sister did well to reach the final where she clocked 26.48s and Ruby Jerges (Horsham) leapt 4.98m for eighth place in the long jump.