Matti Mortimore wowed the Footes Lane crowd with an awesome display of javelin throwing at Footes Lane on Saturday. Leon Reid (above) did not disappoint either as he equalled the Guernsey all-comers’ record with 10.40sec in the 100m.
Mortimore added his name to the Guernsey all-comers’ list in emphatic style – absolutely decimating the previous record of 63m set back in 1959. The British number 1 launched his spear out to 73.12m in the very first round, and then surpassed it in the second round with 73.89 – ultimately his winning throw. Fellow visitor Greg Millar also put on a fantastic display with a new PB of 71.12, backed up with a final round throw of 70.49m. He elevated himself to 5th in the UK rankings in the process and was clearly delighted.
The competition was a huge success as the Isle of Man’s Joe Harris was third with 66.35m and his training partner Steven Turnock fourth with 63.22m. James Bougourd was unable to match his PB form shown earlier this season but still managed a mid-50’s throw – finishing with 53.37m.
The other “elite” event of the day was the men’s 100m and it was reigning European U23 200m silver medallist Leon Reid who prevailed and in the process equalled the record set by Reuben Arther 12 months ago.
The race certainly provided the spectacle and Reid and Confidence Lawson were clearly hits with the youngsters watching – both getting particularly loud cheers during the introductions. Lawson was to come in 5th in the final, clocking 10.60. Omari Barton-Ellington seems to enjoy his visits to Guernsey as he was only two-hundredths slower than his PB which he set here in 2015 – and he improved on last season’s third place by just pipping Deji Tobais to second spot. Both men clocked 10.52sec. Greg Cackett executed arguably the best start in both the heats and the final – but faded towards the final stages due to carrying an ankle problem. He clocked 10.59sec in the final for fourth. Dami Williams was the Channel Islands representative in the line up and ran well in the final to clock 10.86sec.
If Mortimore and Reid were the stars – the local headlines went to Nat Whitty and Indi Gallagher. Whitty dominated the women’s mile race after really looking to stamp her authority around the mid-point. Louise Perrio was unable to get close at that stage and as the race developed Whitty went away and wasn’t too far away from the 5min barrier – clocking a 5:01.01 to just pip Perrio’s record set back in 2010. Following a long battle with injury this winter, it demonstrated that the former basketballer is fast getting back to her old form.
Gallagher lined up in her first 400m of the season – following many more last year in her successful attempts to qualify for the Island Games for the senior distance (as an U17, her official distance is still 300m). The youngster hadn’t been especially pleased with her early season form over 300m – but was delighted to post a big personal best and U17 Island record of 58.71sec for second place behind Jersey’s Gemma Dawkins. It was an improvement of over a second from Gallagher’s PB set in the corresponding meeting last year. Training partner Jasmine Norman went inside the Island Games development standard in her first 400m race and will expect to go inside the 60sec barrier next season if she chases selection in that event.
Gallagher and Norman were to also star in an exciting 100m final – both girls going inside the national qualifying standard in the process despite specialising in the longer sprint of 300m. It was the former who topped off a pleasing afternoon for herself personally as she took the victory in both rounds of the 100m – and can be seen to be visibly shocked by the time on the video below. Jersey’s Popo Ogubemi also went under 13sec and was chased by Vicky Mann and Hannah Barrett who both clocked 13.07sec, a PB for the former, beating her previous mark set in the Island Games.
Other local successes included Eve Bott, who on this occasion beat her U15 rival Alice Hunt in the high jump and recorded a PB in the process of 1.52m. The youngster is just too young to be considered for next year’s Island Games but is clearly capable of going to Gibraltar and performing well in 2019.
Bott was one of four young hurdlers who posted PB’s on what was a great day for sprinting at Footes Lane.
Results are on Power of 10 here. PDF of results is below.
Picture by Adrian Miller. Video footage provided by Chris Chalmers