City thrilled with ‘most complete’ British Athletics League show

Steven Davey. Picture: Neil Marshall
Steven Davey. Picture: Neil Marshall
Ava Griggs, of City of Portsmouth, finishes second in the Great Schools Sprint in Manchester. Picture: Great Schools Sprint

Griggs on Great form in national School Sprint final

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AN EXCELLENT team effort saw City of Portsmouth impress again in division four of the British Athletics League.

Boss Paul Farres was very pleased with the performance as they built on the opening meeting and repeated their third-placed finish again.

City were in top form at the Mountbatten Centre. Picture: Neil Marshall

City were in top form at the Mountbatten Centre. Picture: Neil Marshall

He saw the team shine very bright in nice sunshine for their home match at the Mountbatten Centre.

Some of the club’s highly-talented young athletes were in action and showed their class.

And Farres felt it was also a big plus to have all first-claim athletes representing City for the competition.

He said: ‘A huge day of athletics ended with the club in third place.

‘As a team this was perhaps the most complete ever performance in this league.

‘It was a great day, securing our third place in division four.

‘The heartening aspect of the day were the performances of the younger members of the team.

‘Additionally, in the British Athletics League, clubs are allowed to bring in others from clubs who are not first claim members (higher claim athletes).

‘City of Portsmouth AC are proud to say the team had no such athletes and everyone is a first claim COPAC athlete and proud of it.’

The sprints were very hot with Gavin Bodrell breaking the 11-second barrier for the first time, clocking 10.98 in the 100m.

In the 200m two of the youngest in the team shone. Jo Martin recorded a season’s best of 22.37, while Jacob Nelson won the B string in 22.42.

These three sprinters then combined later in the day with the ever reliable Jamie Gabbidon to secure third place in the 4 x 100m relay.

Tom Miller starred in the 110m hurdles with his time of 14.88sec.

Alessandro Russo had a huge day for the club. The exchange student, from Italy, recorded 59.17sec in the 400 hurdles, then a 51.86sec second place in the B string 400m flat, followed by a storming leg in the 4 x 400m relay.

In the A string 400m Harry Pocock again broke 50 seconds with a 49.49 clocking and he ran a fantastic last leg in the relay to lead the club to first place. His clocking of 48.1 was a huge performance.

Toby Roe finished second in the 1,500m with 04min 04.06sec and his training partner Jonny White took third in the B string before clocking his second fastest time ever of 01.55.36 in the 800m. Tom Walker took the B string 800m in style.

Paul Cardy made a welcome return with third place in the 3k steeplechase and was wonderfully supported by Tony Hooker who showed his versatility with second in the B-string.

In the longer distance race Lachlan Wellington made his 5k track debut for the senior club with a steady time of 15.13.91.

The jumpers excelled as Eimantas Margelis took second in both the long jump and triple with leaps of 6.64m and 13m respectively.

A personal best of 12.73m saw Matthew Galbraith win the B string triple jump. George Rosam won the B string long jump 6.55m and cleared 1.75m for second in the B high jump.

Jumping Jack Norton recorded a leap of 1.95m in the high jump for second in the A string.

Young Luke Staples stepped up to the mark with a hammer throw of 33.49m for fourth place, while Steven Davey got a personal best of 19.04m.

Adam Akehurst won the javelin with a throw of 54.43m while he joined Davey to cover all the rest of the throwing events.

It was also a division one match and Sale Harriers high-jumper Chris Baker cleared 2.22m in what was arguably the performance of the day.