Athletes turned out in force in the beautiful sunshine for the 2023 Sussex Track & Field Championships. With just under 1000 entries, numbers at this year’s event were back to pre-Covid levels. Standards were also high with four CBPs and several high-ranking performances.
One of the other stand out performances came in the field from Brighton & Hove’s Jaiten Best, who leapt 10.86m in the under-15 girls’ triple jump, breaking the previous CBP of 10.27m, and resulting in being ranked third in the country. Jaiten went home with two medals in total as she was also third in the long jump.
The announcer on the day, our own Richard Carter, was nervous that his 40-year-old under 20 1500m record of 3.51.9 may go as Brighton & Hove athlete Alex Riley, has been getting closer. It remained safe (for now) but Riley showed great endurance prowess, winning the 1500m in 3.57.94 and then the 800m on Sunday in 1.53.31.
Under 15 boy Raffaele Barra (Brighton & Hove) also won both the 100m (11.71) and 200m (24.14), as well as taking silver in the long jump.
For the first in a long time, Masters’ track events were incorporated in the Champs. A separate masters’ field champs is planned for later in the season. Some vet athletes chose to compete in the senior field competitions. One of these was Brighton and Hove’s Julia Machin, who broke the W50 British triple jump record with 10.69m.
One of the biggest fields of the weekend was seen in the Men’s 5K races, where 26 athletes competed in very warm conditions. Overall winner was Lewes’ senior Joshua Burgess in 15.05.95. This was the first year Sussex has allowed under 17 athletes to take part. Brighton & Hove’s Freddie Matthews won this age category in 16.50.
Entry numbers were also solid in both the girls and boys’ minithons. The minithon is for under 13 athletes , who compete across the day in three different disciplines – a run, throw and jump.
In the girls’ competition on Saturday, Seren Rowe (Brighton & Hove) went into the last event in third place, but with a very impressive 800m (2.30.14) she took top overall spot with 66 points.
Talent obviously runs in the Machin family with Isaac Machin (Brighton and Hove) winning boys’ gold on Sunday with 68 points. It will be interesting to see how both fair at the Under 13 Champs on July 1.
Staging the Champs takes an incredible amount of time and effort by a whole array of volunteers. Sussex AA would like to thank everyone who not only helped make it possible, but made it such a success.
For full results, go to https://www.sussexathletics.net/2023-results/
by Kate Matthews