The cross country runners of Herne Hill Harriers were in evidence in a number of the races at the CAU Inter County Cross Country Championship at Cofton Park in Birmingham which enjoyed Sky TV coverage. Following excellent results at the English Championships in Alton Towers HHH athletes were selected for their county teams and it was Surrey who benefited considerably from HHH input as well as from the omnipotent Aldershot squad as the county enjoyed a successful day throughout the age group races.
Having recovered from the illness that had prevented her from challenging for a National Indoor track title the previous weekend, Katie Snowden was the highest placed HHH athlete of the day, being 13th of 260 finishers in the U17 women’s race and she was the second counter in the silver medal winning Surrey team. In the equivalent men’s age race, Lewis Lloyd followed up his fabulous 9th at Alton Towers with another strong position as he finished 17th of 285 and was also second Surrey team placer as they won team bronze medals.
Merhawi Yemane is one of the younger runners in the U15 boys age group, but this does not prevent him from mixing it with his elders and he was 22nd of 298 as he repeated the pattern of being second Surrey scorer and winning a team medal, in his case silver. Amiin Jisow (113th) and Robert Hansen (140th) were also Surrey team members in this race, but did not finish among the team scorers. Breagha Campbell is an emerging talent at the club and has already run as many big races as smaller ones, the National and Inter Counties being 2 of only a handful she has contested to date. She will have learned much from both of her national level races and 45th of 305 U13 girls was a good return, albeit not placing her as one of the 4 Surrey counters who claimed team silver medals. Paul Burgess did score in the 10th placed Surrey team in the U13 boys race as he finished 78th of 297, while Armelle Folkes continued a very good season, finishing as a non counting member of a very strong winning team in the U20 women’s race as she placed 70th in a smaller field of 128. In the senior races Cathy Ansell placed 70th of 259 in the colours of Middlesex as the sole HHH runner in the women’s race, but by contrast HHH men were present throughout their field of 292 finishers. Chris Busaileh produced a cross country run much closer to his recent excellent road running form as he clearly headed the HHH first claim contingent in the race with a superb 52nd position in a strong field which was also contesting the trial for the GB team for the upcoming World Cross Country Championship.
On a course more to his liking than at Alton Towers, Chris soundly reversed recent placings with our regular top big race man over the country Alan Barnes, who on this occasion had to settle for 116th. Ben Paviour and Jonny Henderson both justified their late call ups in a close race to close the Surrey 6 man scoring team, with Ben just prevailing in 149th to Jonny’s 151st. Replicating HHH style packing, Jeff Cunningham was 162nd in the vest of Cumbria, while the latest addition to HHH ranks Matt Donnery was 179th running for Merseyside and Simon Coombes finished 284th in the colours of Bedfordshire. With the Surrey team being led in 27th by HHH BAL track team member James McMullan, who races cross country for Thames H&H, there was strong HHH representation in the Surrey mens team which placed 11th and other HHH second claim runners in their county teams were Orlando Edwards in 68th for Herts and Andrew Donno 155th for Sussex.
Full results are at this link: