Left: Tom Druce needn’t have been nervous as the two men raced well but just fell short of his 5 year old Island 100m best.
There was quality at both ends of the track distance spectrum on Sunday morning with some strong female performances in the 3,000m as well as some high quality sprinting over both 100m and 200m. As the busy school athletics season comes to a close, it was the established club members that turned out in the age group events and the familiar U20 and senior athletes that produced the highlights.
It was Cheltenham and Guernsey athlete Andy van Kints who took the spoils in the 3,000m after a battle with Dan Galpin, who has posted fast times over the distance already this year during the indoor season. van Kints clocked 9:05.77 ahead of Galpin’s 9:11.33 with Peter Amy a way back in third, just edging out Jim de Garis.
Guernsey’s best ever female endurance athletes both lined up in a large mixed field and posted pleasing times – with Sarah Mercier winning the battle over Louise Perrio with 9:42.43 to 9:48.68. Mercier looks to be building nicely back to her best following an injury-troubled end to 2017 and Perrio was particularly satisfied with what was her fastest 3,000m time for 5 years.
Next up on track was an intriguing re-match of the race which yielded the female Island 200m record just over a year ago, with Hannah Lesbirel on that occasion being pushed all the way by Indi Gallagher as both went under the then-record of 25.3sec held by Jay Peet. However, nobody told Abi Galpin that this was a another dual between the two Island Games individual medallists. The youngest of the three tore out of her blocks from the inner-most lane and it was impossible to call the result right until the final metres. It was in fact the 400m specialist Gallagher who came home strongly to post her second-fastest ever time of 25.22sec, just ahead of Galpin’s 25.26 and Lesbirel’s 25.31. It has been a difficult winter for the victor Gallagher as she missed a large chunk of it with injury – but this should be a confidence booster as she looks towards the 400m. Lesbirel has only raced once previously this season so will also look to build from a solid performance…but it was undoubtedly Galpin who emerged the happiest as she lowered her PB by over half a second.
The men’s 100m looked a very interesting affair as Cameron Chalmers joined Josh Allaway on the start line for what was billed as a record attempt on the 5 year old mark of 10.66sec. Allaway had also only recently surpassed Chalmers on the all-time Guernsey rankings with his new PB of 10.71 set at the Intertrust Athletics Games to Chalmers’ 10.77sec PB.
It was the 100m specialist Allaway who predictably started the better – and despite a slight stumble he continued to go away from the international 400m star until around 60m or so before Chalmers began to reel him back in. At the line it was much closer but Allaway held the lead by 0.02sec as he stopped the clock at 10.75 and Chalmers equalled his PB. There was a PB for Lucas Rive in third with a fast 11.28sec. The female race unfortunately had to be re-run due to a technical issue with the timing system and Jas Norman took the victory with 12.62 to Lesbirel’s 12.67.
Over 110m hurdles, Toby Glass lowered his own U20 record as he went under the 16sec barrier for the first time with 15.83…even more impressive when you consider it was a solo run and he clattered hurdle one. Glass also did not benefit from a breath of tailwind as like the women 200m runners earlier on the wind dropped to 0m/s.
The 800m saw Richard Bartram and Alex Rowe again demonstrate their consistency as they both clocked 1:57 to take first and second place, Rowe having led the field through the bell with 59sec to suggest that there may be more there for the leading pair should they get some competent pace-making at some stage this season. The 800m being the bottom of both athletes ranges suggests the race was a useful sharpener for the upcoming competitions facing both athletes with Bartram likely to be looking towards the 1500m and Rowe the 2,000m steeplechase.
Arguably the best performer outside of the established athletes was Ben Solway – the 14 year old clocking a big PB in the 80m hurdles with 12.22sec and an equally impressive new long jump best of 5.64m. Harry Tough secured an outstanding PB of his own in the 800m as he dipped 2:10 for the first time with 2:09.50 ahead of Gian-Luca Robilliard’s 2:13. U13 Aideen Le Prevost similarly scored strong new PB’s, particularly in the shot putt where she threw 8.05m.
Full results available to download below.