Gallagher fast closing in on Youth Commonwealths

GUERNSEY will have five athletes from their exciting pool of fast developing young girl athletes at this weekend’s England Athletics Age Groups Championships at Sheffield.

indigallagher
Indi Gallagher

Fresh from their excellent performances at the Birmingham Games last week, Indi Gallagher, Sophie Porter and Abi Galpin will be joined at this weekend’s championships by hurdlers Rhiannon Dowinton and Sofia Mella.

The former trio travel with confidence high after their efforts in Birmingham.

Running over 400m, Indi Gallagher dominated her race from the gun and stopped the clock at 58.53sec., which as well as surpassing her outdoor best from 2016 was only 0.03sec outside the selection standard for the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas later this year.

‘She can strengthen her case further in Sheffield and, particularly given the conversion of indoor to outdoor times, would hope to be given the nod even if she cannot find the 0.03sec she needs,’ said development officer Tom Druce.

Her training partner Amelia Lees found herself in a physical battle having been drawn in lane two and wasn’t able to match her stunning debut performance in the event from last month.

Fellow 400m starlet Sophie Porter was in action over 200m and clocked a rapid 25.78sec ahead of next weekend’s ‘nationals.’

She will be competing in the 300m there and will be looking to go close to her 2016 outdoor best of 40.33 which earned her a fifth place finish at the English Schools last July.

Also in action at the national event in Sheffield will be sprinter Abi Galpin, who became only the third Guernsey woman to break the 8sec. barrier for 60m alongside record holder Kylie Robilliard and Jay Ap Sion (nee Peet).

The 16-year-old burst out of the blocks and was never caught by the rest of the field which included 24.3sec. 200m athlete Alicia Regis – and clocked a time of 7.99sec.

Galpin was unfortunately drawn in the tight lane two for the 200m but still clocked a PB of 26.42sec.

Teddy Le Clerc was also in PB form in the 200m as he marginally lowered his best to 22.92sec, meaning that the Island Games standard now looks very realistic for him.

In the same race, Harry Burns made his debut and set an time encouraging 23.42sec.

Le Clerc was back in action later in the 400 and ran a tactically superb race to come home the victor in 51.02sec.

‘Hopefully that’s a good sign that he will be back to his best over that distance come the outdoor season,’ said Druce.

Meanwhile, senior Sam Wallbridge tested himself in the senior 400m but admitted to it being more of a training exercise for him at this stage of the year.

He survived a false start scare to come back and record 51.16sec.

There was yet more 400m interest as Peter Curtis decimated his previous best performance to bring his PB down to 52.49sec., again the exciting element for him and his coach Dale Garland will be what further improvements can be made from indoors to outdoors.

His training partner Toby Glass posted 53.55sec for a PB of his own and his mood will have been further improved by his debut outing in the sprint hurdles as he clocked 9.18sec.

And yet another Dale Garland-coached athlete left the Barclaycard Arena happy, as Becca Toll adjusted her race tactics from her last outing in Sheffield over the 800m. Her aggressive start was rewarded with a season’s best of 2-22.05 as she prepares for the summer where it looks likely she will contest the 800m in Gotland.