Herne Hill Harriers enjoyed one of our most successful outings in the Surrey cross country championships in Dorking last Saturday (7 January) with its young athletes playing a huge part in the medal haul. Incredible 11 year old Saskia Millard was our individual star as she produced what was possibly the best performance by any athlete from any club in all age groups to clearly win the U13 girls’ title. We will be hearing much more of racing exploits to come from this precocious young talent.
Our other individual medalists both won silver, courtesy of the excellent Paul Burgess in the U13 boys race and Lewis Lloyd with a great run in the U20 men’s race. Paul led our U13 boys team to gold medals. Led by Kojo Kyereme in 7th place and backed up by superb team packing, our senior men also won the Surrey county cross country team title, our victory being our 10th in the last 11 years. In addition we claimed team silver in the U15 boys race and 3 team bronzes on a very good day for the club.
Saskia Millard claimed an individual gold medal after winning the under-13 girls’ race in 11.59 minutes, almost 30 seconds ahead of her nearest rival, while Kate Brown (9th), Breagha Campbell (11th) and Hebe Morley-Fletcher (32nd) all backed up Saskia to win team bronze. In the under-13 boys’ race, Paul Burgess, another emerging young talent, finished in second place claiming silver with a time of 12.05 minutes. Paul led the under-13 boys’ team to a gold medal and was followed in by Isacc Brown in 8th, Sam Cohen in 9th and Feysel Nadew in 10th.
HHH also won team silver in the under-15 boys’ race with Merhawi Yemane making a welcome return to racing finishing in fourth place in 13.54 minutes. He was backed up by Lascelles Hussey in 8th, Abdu Mohammed in 13th and Clarke Aaron in 30th. Amin Jisow (8th), James Allen (17th) Idris Ali (23rd) and John Taylor (24th) all combined well to win team bronze in the under-17 men’s race.
Our younger athletes continued to inspire for the club with Lewis Lloyd picking up an individual silver medal in the men’s under-20 race. Lewis had been in contention for gold after running with the lead pack for most of the race but had to settle for second place in a time of 19.25 minutes. Lewis was chased in by Charles Philpott in 14th and Nathan Stone in 17th to claim yet another team bronze medal for the club.
In the senior men’s race, Kojo Kyereme was the first Harrier home in 7th place and superb team packing by Chris Busaileh in 10th, Ben Paviour in 11th, Dave Taylor in 12th, Alan Barnes in 13th and Brian Wilder in 21st ensured first team prize by a margin of eight points over domestic rivals Belgrave Harriers. We have now won the senior men’s competition 10 times in the past 11 years.
The Harriers return to cross country action on 14 January at Farthing Downs, Coulsdon where our men and boys teams hope to extend their lead in the penultimate fixture of the Surrey League..