Galpin is now leaping into the record books

ABI GALPIN is not just Guernsey’s fastest woman ever – she can also jump further than any other.

Abi Galpin set a new Island women's long-jump record of 5.92m. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 31173115)
Abi Galpin set a new Island women's long-jump record of 5.92m. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 31173115)

Looking for a different end-of-season test, the Commonwealth Games sprinter briefly revisited her history as a long jumper at Sunday’s ActiveGsy Track and Field meet but vastly exceeded expectations, leaping an impressive 5.92m.

She beat Kimberley Goodall’s 17-year-old Island record by a good 15cm.

Galpin’s own personal best stood at 5.22m from 2019, yet after three years of focusing solely on sprints, she found her feet remarkably quickly to cover 5.43, 5.92 and 5.59 at Footes Lane. She called it a day after an unfortunate hamstring tear in round four.

‘Long jump was one of my favourite events when I was first starting athletics, but sprinting has taken over in recent years, so I just wanted to have a go at it and see what I could do,’ she said after finishing second overall behind veteran Dale Garland’s 6.12m.

‘I thought I’d PB, as I’m much faster and stronger than I was in 2019, but I wasn’t aiming for the Island record – so that was genuinely a complete shock.

‘I jumped 5.50m in training on Thursday and was hoping I’d be able to replicate it in competition, so I thought I’d jump anywhere between 5.40-5.60m.’

But Galpin, who also holds every Island sprint record from 60m to 400m, does not expect to be a regular at the long jump pit.

‘Even though it was great to get back into the pit after three years, I don’t think I’d train for it alongside the sprint training I do at the moment – although I can see myself doing some more training and competitions in a few years if I decide to switch my events up a bit,’ she added.

The 21-year-old earlier won a wind-assisted women’s 100m in 11.89, leading out youngsters Emily Pike and Amelia Hart.

Yet another athlete taking to a new avenue, 800m star Chris Bain, impressed most in the sprints.

After long-term injury, Bain has not raced his best distance this season but he looked rather sharp over both 100m and 200m.

The 19-year-old won the former in a wind-assisted 11.29, beating promising U17 Archie Le Huray, before just missing the 200m A standard with a legal 22.79. He also entered the 200m all-time list in 18th.

Josh Avery took runner-up over 200m and Isabelle Lowe ran 26.04 for top girl.

‘I’ve been training well, so I’m happy to have been able to back that up with improved racing performances,’ Bain said.

‘I was happy with how I executed both races, especially with how I’d learnt from the pacing mistakes I’d made last month in the 200m.

‘I’d had the rather naive view, as a middle-distance runner, that a 200m is simply flat out from the gun, so to adjust that and see a significant time improvement is great.

‘Overall, I’ve certainly enjoyed training and learning more about an area of the sport where I previously hadn’t been able to appreciate the intrinsic complexities and technical aspects, which are now abundantly clear.’

Bain aims to race 100m again next month before returning to 800m training and chasing a Games standard indoors – yet he is not taking qualifying for granted.

Current No. 1 Alex Rowe posted 1-55.70 on Sunday, outside his season’s best but a solid result otherwise from a lonely race, as runner-up Jack Le Tissier ducked 2min.

U15 Darcey Hodgson used her impressive pace to post 2-19.81 and win a three-way women’s race from Leeds University student Rebecca Toll and London-based Emma Etheredge.

In the 5,000m, Rowe’s former Bath University colleague Richard Bartram braved a similarly testing front-run to win in 15-36.55.

Toby Mann edged his PB down to 16-47.98 in settling a cracking battle for second, which featured constant position shifts between five contestants.

Among the women, Nix Petit clocked 18-43.56 to outduel new Guernsey resident Susie Armstrong, who was running her first official track race.

A Q&A session with Commonwealths medalist Alastair Chalmers preceded the meet, which also had familiar UK-based officials Pam and Malcolm Rogers in attendance on their 40th wedding anniversary.

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