Herne Hill Harriers news – May 3-5

Herne Hill Harriers’ student athletes won an individual gold and silver medal at the British Universities and Colleges Sport Athletics Championships at Bedford as the athletics season burst into life over the weekend.

The club’s star performance came in the women’s 400m hurdles, in which Brunel University’s Aisha Naibe-Wey clawed her way back from fourth position in the closing stages to dramatically snatch the gold medal in 59.01 seconds. The club’s other medal was also won in a women’s final, as Katie Snowden of Nottingham University won a superb 800m silver medal clocking 2:05.86 in a fast race and within a second of her outdoor best.

Herne Hill had three other club members in finals, with Jessie Knight (56.09) in the women’s 400m, Isaac Ogunlade (53.18) in the men’s 400m hurdles and Rushane Thomas (14.81) in the men’s 110m hurdles all placing fifth in finals after tough qualification rounds. Knight and Ogunlade were particularly busy, as Knight ran three individual 400m races and two 4 x 400m relay legs (her Loughborough team won gold), while Ogunlade got through his three rounds of one-lap hurdles races and also ran the heat and semi final of the flat 400m.

Despite not reaching her 800m final, Hannah Edwards only just missed out with the 10th fastest time overall, placing third in her semi-final with a season’s best of 2:14.14 following a slow 70 seconds first lap. Lewis Lloyd tried to go with eventual event winner Jake Wightman in an 800m semi-final where only the winner was guaranteed qualification and faded in the final 150m to end up sixth in 1.57.

Away from Bedford, Herne Hill hosted an open meeting track meeting at the club’s headquarters at Tooting Bec. Home winners included Dwayne Dowding (10.77 in the 100m and 21.52 in the 200m) and Jonathan Chen (39.67 in the 300m). Harriers’ dominance in the 400m was demonstrated by Nicholas Atwell (48.21), Blade Ashby (48.32) and Peter Phillips (48.84) contributing to a one-two-three in the event. Chris Dodd of Eastbourne won the inaugural Stan Allen Mile in 4:25.94, with Jonathan Stead the highest place home runner in fourth in 4:34.76.

Earlier in the weekend, Mike Cummings won the 1500m at the first Southern Men’s League fixture of the season, clocking 4:03.30. Thomas Ashby impressed by claiming first place in the high jump, long jump, triple jump, shot and discus. Gavin Johnson-Assoon won the javelin with a throw of 59.78m. Harriers also launched their Youth Development League season with a fourth-placed finish at Southampton. Standout performers included Natasha Alfred (first in the U15G high jump) and Saskia Millard (first in the U15G 1500m).

On the road, John Kettle won the Ranelagh Richmond Half Marathon in 73.02, with Rob Edwards another winner at the Peckham 10k, clocking 35.46. Mike Boyle impressed at the Great East Anglia 10km in finishing 35th in 34.34.

Jonny Muir