Like the women’s 400m on Sunday, Thursday’s 200m received top billing and was promoted as a battle between 200m athlete Hannah Lesbirel and 400m specialist Indi Gallagher. It was safe to say that the race lived up to expectations as both women attacked the bend and were neck and neck as they came into the home straight. Lesbirel ultimately held off the 17 year old and crossed the line 0.14sec ahead of her rival. The time on the electronic clock showed as 24.95 – the first sub-25sec performance by a Guernsey woman and indeed the first by any female on the Footes Lane track.
Announcer Paul Ingrouille waited for the wind reading before proclaiming a new island record but he needn’t have worried as the reading came back as -0.7m/s and the time on the clock was confirmed by the photo-finish.
Jay Peet’s record had stood for over 23 years at 25.3 and had been well beaten not only by the beaming Lesbirel but by Gallagher as well. The youngster had the consolation of claiming Kimberley Goodall’s U20 record – the second time in five days that she’d taken an U20 record from the former golden girl of Guernsey athletics. Her time of 25.09 bodes well for her continuing to improve over the 400m event.
An interesting measure of the magnitude of Lesbirel’s improvement was that both Abi Galpin and Jasmine Norman went inside her pre-race legal PB – Galpin clocking 25.80 and Norman 25.84 for 3rd and 4th place. Both of them have been showing great form already this season over 100m and 400m respectively. Amelia Lees came in 5th – also clocking a new PB of 26.23sec as she continues her development following her change of focus from middle-distance to sprints only last year.
Away from the race of the night, Josh Allaway posted his second-fastest ever time in the 200m as he continues to round into form ahead of Gotland. The most experienced member of the Tom Druce-coached training group has been managing injury niggles of late but posted a winning time of 22.05 into a small headwind of -0.6m/s in the men’s race. Dale Garland again showed he is in the best form for years with 22.35 but the main story was Harry Burns’ big PB of 22.64 in third place as he looks to firm up his place in the individual sprints for Gotland. Youngster Joe Chadwick also posted a new legal PB in fourth in 23.01.
Vicky Mann continued her good form over 100m and was unfortunate to face a headwind of -1.4m/s in taking the victory in 13.08sec – only 0.01 outside her PB from 2016 which was achieved with a +2.0 following wind. Hannah Barrett was second in 13.27. Both women clocked sub-13sec times in Hampshire recently with slightly illegal wind aid but will have to wait a little longer to beat the barrier in a wind-legal race.
Toby Glass took on the 110m hurdles and although he only had the clock to race against he executed a solid race – stopping the clock at 16.07sec. Warwick Helps won a development 800m race with a new PB of 2:10.11 as he chases times ahead of his World Masters campaign.
Videos courtesy of Chris Chalmers. Photo courtesy of Steve Sarre of Guernsey Press