Superb medal haul for Hastings AC

Louisa James
Louisa James
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Hastings Athletic Club brought home 18 medals, including 14 golds, from the Sussex County Track and Field Championships.

The haul - achieved despite being relatively small in number at K2 Crawley last weekend - included two championship records from teenage starlets Louisa James and Elise Lovell.

After two no throws in the under-20 women’s hammer, 16-year-old Parkwood student James needed to record a legal throw with her third effort otherwise she would have left with nothing.

Undaunted, the throw was a good one and she added some five metres to the previous best mark. But more was to come as, with her fifth and only second legal throw, Youth Olympian James hurled the hammer out to 55.97m.

That was some 12 metres better than the six-year-old mark of Rachel Basford (Lewes) and more than 10 metres further than senior winner Jo Davison (Worthing). It was also 16 centimetres shy of James’ personal best.

Later that day in the same age group, Lovell added one centimetre to Mandy Bell’s 20-year-old long jump record with 5.54m. Lovell was a one-woman medal machine, also winning the high jump (1.50m) and 110m hurdles (15.2).

Hastings’ two Aldershot athletes donned their blue home colors to claim their respective middle distance doubles with Adam Clarke taking the 1,500m title in 3.57.1 and the 800m in 1.55.1.

Team-mate Grace Baker landed the under-17 women’s 800m crown in 2.18.7 and ran the third fastest time in the UK so far this year to win the 1,500m in 4.36.3.

The full article will appear in Friday’s Hastings Observer.