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  1. Bright sunny conditions greeted the runners for the latest round of the Brooks Sussex Cross Country league fixture held at Lancing Manor. The Blue Stars put up some fine performances with Tom Page having his best run of the season to take 6th place in the Under 13 Boys race, running 11m38s for the 3k course. He was supported by Sam Clarke in 32nd (12m53s), Ollie Arnold 37th (13m14s) and Corey Farrel 45th (14m23s) with the team taking 8th place. In the Senior & Under 17 Women’s race, which saw a field of 120 toe the line, Elspeth Turner had a good run to take 12th position in 20m49s. Erin Bateman ran well to take 24th place (21m12s) and with Caroline Wirth in 54th (23m29s) and Megan Allerton 65th (24m37s) the team scored 90 points to take 3rd place. Also competing in this race was Maisie Boast, who took 79th place (25m43s) and Daisy Burchfield 97th (27m58s).

    The best team result came in the Under 15 Girls race, where the team took an excellent third place, scoring 28th points, just seven points behind the winning team. Laura Hawrych led the team home in 6th place (18m04s) and she was closely followed by Romy van der Veen, who had another good run to take 7th place (18m14s). Neave Scott in 15th place (19m59s) closed in the scoring team, newcomer Hannah Joels having a creditable first run came in 16th place (20m43s), with Lily Hardwick 17th (20m46s) and another newcomer Harriet Frankland 19th (20m56s).

    The Under 17 Men’s race saw Jack Milnthorpe the first Blue Star finisher in 16th place (19m30s), with Chris Best 20th (19m45s), Tom Mackman 23rd (21m09s) and Luke Triccas 25th (23m09s). The team finished in 5th place, but still maintain their fourth overall league position. The Under 15 Boys race saw just two Blue Stars competing, with Jacob Cann taking 29th place (19m28s) and Daniel Allam 33rd (20m33s). Jessica O’Flaherty was the only club representative in the Under 13 Girls race, where she finished a creditable 24th in 14m19s.

    The final race of the day the Senior Men’s race saw almost 200 runners face the starter, run over an exacting 8km two lap course with a big climb up to the Downs on both laps, saw veteran Bill Knight lead the team home in 66th place running 34m02s, Chris Lee finished 132nd (39m22s), with Ron Shannon 145th (41m19s) and Stewart Mackman 146th (41m47s), making up the team.

  2. The Blue Stars competing in the South of England Cross Country Championships at Stanmer Park found the going tough competing against the best in the South. The Under 15 Boys race began the days races and here Chris Dunstan and Louis Bateman had their own private battle with Chris just edging out Louis in the final sprint for the finish to take 149th position with Louis 152nd, with Jacob Cann in 195th and Bradley Burke 211th the team finished 34th. The only other team to complete was in the Under 15 Girls race where Evie Clarke led the team home in 136th and with Gabby Eltham 158th, Romy van der Veen 179th and Lily Hardwick 219th the team finished 32nd. Jenny Dunstan and Jessica O’Flaherty contested the Under 13 Girls race with Jenny finishing 176th and Jessica 219th.

    Jack Milnthorpe was our only competitor in the Under 17 Men’s race and finished 131st. Erin Bateman ran well to finish 73rd in the Under 17 Women’s event with Caroline Wirth 124th. The Under 20 Women’s race saw maisie Boast finished 50th with Daisy Burchfield 51st. The final race of the fday, the Senior Men run over a gruelling 9 miles, saw Anthony Bourne have a good run to finish 161st in a field of 857, with Jonathan Arnold taking 432nd place.

  3. The Blue Stars youngsters travelled to the impressive indoor facility at Lee Valley, Enfield, for this year’s Tom Pink Relay event. The track events are all run as relays with the field events based on Sportshall type events.

    In the Under 13 Girls continuous relay run over 1500m, where each of the five teams members have to run 3 legs of 100m, the Blue Star team of Ella Hannyngton, Rania Hyde, Abigail McPherson, Collette Tierney and Jessica O’Flaherty had a close tussle with the team from Herts Phoenix and were just edged into the silver medal position running 2m43.9s to the winners 2m43.0s.

    In the Under 11 Girls continuous relay, where each athlete runs 4 legs of 50 metres, the team of Ruby Walker, Cleo Tomlinson, Ruby Jerges, Jasmine Belshaw and Ella Dronfield all ran well to gain yet another silver medal for the Club in 2m47.1s, and the first four made up the team who won bronze medals in the Under and Over relay, running 1m17.9s for the 4 by 50m race.

    The Field events also produced a glut of medals, with a win for Leo Walker in the Under 13 Boys Shot throwing an impressive 7.542m, with team mate Seb Ellis taking the bronze medal with 6.01m. Leo also took a silver medal in the weight for height competition. Also in this age group the weight for distance event saw Dylan Denhart a convincing winner throwing 13.50m, a metre clear of his nearest rival. The Under 13 Girls Standing Long Jump saw Ella Hannyngton jump 2.16m to take gold with Rania Hyde jumping 2.03m to win the bronze. In the Standing Triple Jump Jessica O’Flaherty leapt 6.15m to take silver.

    In the Under 11 field events Grace Sherring and Ella Dronfield took first and second places respectively in the soft javelin event, with both throwing 13m, but Grace prevailing with her second best throw. Ella then teamed up with Cleo Tomlinson in the Standing Triple Jump, with Cleo jumping 6.10m for second place and Ella 5.50m to take third. In the Boys equivalent Hari Brogan leapt 5.35m to take the silver medal and then leapt 1.92m in the Standing Long Jump to take the bronze medal. Another third place was gained by Anna Jamieson in the highland steps event where she scored 66 jumps.

    The team thoroughly enjoyed their experience of competing in such a wonderful venue and now look forward to the local Sussex Sportshall league events.

  4. The first of this season’s Youth Development League for the Under 17 & Under 20 age groups took place at Gillingham, with the Blue Star team performing well to finish in second place of the seven competing teams, only beaten by the host club Medway & Maidstone. Despite the cool and blustery conditions there were several good performances with many athletes achieving personal bests.

    The Under 20 Women dominated the field events with wins for Chloe Billingham in the Pole Vault (3.20m), the Hammer (19.91m) and the Triple Jump (9.40m), for Emma Garry with a personal best leap in the Long Jump of 4.87m, for Emily Cox in the Discus with a personal best throw of 29.76m and the Shot (7.54m) and for Lucy Milnthorpe in the High Jump (1.55m). In the Under 20 men’s field events Calum Neil won the Pole Vault with a clearance of 3.50m.
    The Under 17s also scored well in the field events with Connor Dearden clearing a new personal best height of 3.40m to win the Pole Vault. Elliot Bayley, having just moved up an age group, threw an impressive 45.98m to win the Javelin, Sol Deller won the Long Jump with 5.86m and Kray Williams won the Discus with 18.02m. Caroline Wirth won the Women’s Long Jump with 4.88m and in the High Jump, although just pushed into second place on countback, Tabby Lee leapt a new personal best of 1.60m.

    The track events provided wins for Amy Fitzpatrick in the Under 17, 80m Hurdles in 12.4s, with Tabby Lee winning the B string in 12.8s, and for Lucy Hubbard in the Under 17, 300m Hurdles in 49.3s. Jack Milnthorpe won the Under 20, 110m Hurdles in 18.4s. Elsewhere Molly Adams ran well to gain two second places in the Under 20, 100m and 200m, running 12.9s and 26.7s respectively.

    As usual the relays completed the track events, in the 4 x 100m relays the Under 17 Women’s team took third place in 53.4s, with the Under 20 Women’s team finishing second in 53.9s and the Under 17 Men’s team finished third in 52.7s.

    The final team result was: 1. Medway & Maidstone 548
    3. Bexley 265
    4. Walton 258
    5. Holland Sports 237
    6. Dartford 236
    7. Invicta Paddock Wood 71

    This was a promising start for the team and they look forward to their next match at Bexley on 16th May.