Herne Hill Harriers men’s team finished a fantastic second place in our British Athletics League National 1 match at Lee Valley Athletics Centre. Newly promoted last summer, we were competing in the second tier of British Athletics for the first time in the Clubs history. If the Premiership contains the top 8 men’s track and field teams in Britain then on current form we get into the top 10 as second top of the next division.
Not overawed by being pitted against 7 “big name” clubs, HHH were prominent in the top 3 throughout the afternoon after a good start in the long jump and hammer. New 17 year old javelin thrower Lukas Wieland, who competed in the World Youth Championship in Lille last year and is coached in Switzerland by club senior record holder Terry McHugh broke our club U20 men’s javelin record with an opening throw of 65.17m. There were also great PBs for Blade Ashby, clocking 14.73 for 2nd over senior high hurdles for 2nd A string behind a world class run by Windsor’s Lawrence Clarke and Jonathan Grant leaping 6.98m to win the B string long jump.
It was all round team consistency with every athlete’s contribution being vital that enabled us to achieve 2nd in the match, as our only 3 event winners were all B strings, namely Jonathan, Shola John-Olojo with 14.51m in the triple jump and Sammy Croll Mensah winning the B 400m in 48.51. Byron Robinson’s excellent 2nd in the B 200m was only 2 one hundredths outside his PB, while Julien Allwood joined Shola in making the triple jump our best event of the day by placing 2nd in the A string with 14.99m.
The match was a good introduction to British League competition for our Irish 800m runners David Harper (16 years old, 6th in the A string) and Dermot McDermott (2nd in the B string) who both also ran the 4 x 400m with Sammy and Peter Phillips. Recent club record breaker Stuart Thurgood was a fine 3rd in the A hammer, a position emulated by Peter in the A 400m and Thomas Ashby in the A discus. We can now look forward to our next BAL match, a long trek up north to Gateshead with real hope that we can again surprise and shake up the more established pecking order.