Guernsey Press

Relay hopes boosted by Lowe’s 400 debut

AN IMPRESSIVE 400m debut for Isabelle Lowe has put her in the running for what looks to be a very capable relay squad at the Guernsey 2023 NatWest Island Games.

Isabelle Lowe (No. 35) made an impressive debut over 400m in Chelmsford. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 31157699)

In fact, athletics development officer Tom Druce believes that the women’s 4x400m team could be looking at a gold medal and even a Games record in 11 months’ time.

His enthusiasm follows 15-year-old Lowe’s 58.95sec. run for fourth at the Southern U17 Championships in Chelmsford, earning her eighth place on Guernsey’s all-time list for the distance.

It means that alongside Abi Galpin, who lowered the Island record to 55.22 last month, and Kate Bain, the Games hosts currently have three runners comfortably under the minute mark this season.

‘The 4x400m looks quite strong,’ Druce said in naming the returning Rebecca Toll as a likely fourth member.

‘I am quite confident in it – I was confident before she did that, but we could be looking for golds to close the Games out. It might be the last event.

‘The men are very, very strong and it might be that we are able to get both of the 4x400m golds.

‘I think the women’s Games record [3-53.79] is in reach too.’

Lowe adapted remarkably well to her quarter-mile bow at the Southerns, running a shade over 60sec. in her heat before improving markedly in the final, finishing just 0.08sec. off the bronze.

Her improvement in the final defied coach Nick Marley’s expectations.

‘It was a great run,’ Marley said.

‘In particular the improvement from first to second race – I though she might struggle to repeat her heats time, but she got me there.’

Lowe had already established herself as a rangy sprinter, including setting a Guernsey U15 record for 300m (41.59) last year.

She had entered the season targeting a Games relay spot, alongside gauging whether or how her 300m ability would translate to the full lap. Rather well, it seems.

Lowe has also come agonisingly close to Games A standards for the 100m and 200m – 0.01sec. off both.

Marley can see her contending for multiple individual events, alongside both relays, but notes that she is too young to train specifically for the 400m and also must balance athletics with GCSEs next year.

Galpin also showed solid form last weekend off the back of her Commonwealth Games debut.

At a Newham and Essex Beagles meet in Stratford, she tied her Guernsey 100m record with an 11.79 and also ran 24.04 for the 200m.