Youngsters save best to last

Kirsten Burley finishes second in the under-20 women's 400m hurdles
Kirsten Burley finishes second in the under-20 women's 400m hurdles
Gemma Steel, left, and Charlotte Purdue, right, alongside Chris Thompson and Claire Lomas Picture: Malcolm Wells

Domestic showdown as duo bid to better near misses

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Saving their best to last was the moto of the day for many of the local athletics who competed in the final round of the UK Youth Development League on Sunday.

The Mountbatten Centre was the venue for the highly-competitive South 3C fixture.

And while Chichester AC were celebrating overall victory as they clinched the league title after an absorbing season, there was still plenty of cheer to go around the other clubs.

Personal and season’s bests proved the order of the day.

Havant AC’s Leslie Parkes enjoyed a memorable run out as he claimed a new lifetime best when winning the under-20 men’s 100m (11.3sec) – before claiming another victory in the hammer (59.84m).

City of Portsmouth’s Anita Ghosh also celebrated sprint glory when she won the under-17 women’s 100m in a PB of 13.0.

Meanwhile, stepping up in distance, under-20 Harry Pocock ran his quickest ever time in the 400m, claiming the win in 53.5.

City team-mates Ethan Bevis (5.03.0) and Ellie Czura (5.40.0) weren’t left out as they also recorded PBs when winning in their respective 1,500m steeplechases.

And Havant continued their fine tradition on the day with best-ever victories from Georgina Lavery (6.17.2) and Matthew Gordon (6.29.5) in their steeplechase events.

Wins were also recorded by City’s Keiran Martin (57,8, under-17 400m), Matt Smith 4.32.7, under-17 1,500m) and Lauren McCarthy (5.15.5, under-17 1,500m).

But it was neighbours Chichester who excelled most under pressure, with Alex Fryday, Hollie Beaton, Charlotte Reading, Izzy Brown, Jessica Goddard and Nathalie Godden all picking up emphatic winning margins.

Most impressive was under-20 ace Fryday, who got PBs in the 400m (65.0), long jump (4.54) and triple jump (9.52).

– MARK McMAHON