New club women’s 800m record as Katie stakes her claim

Herne Hill Harriers’ top under 20 athlete Katie Snowden was less than happy with her start to this season following some problems with troublesome shin soreness, despite having won the Surrey U20 women’s 800m and the CAU Inter Counties title for senior women in May at the age of 17. Her closest observers felt she found the “on” button at our UK Women’s League team win last week and this week she demonstrated why her coach feels that she is now running at her best yet by breaking her own HHH club senior and U20 women’s records for 800m by almost half a second.

Competing in the women’s C race at the British Milers Club Nike Grand Prix Meeting at Watford, in a race that was rather poetically timetabled to start at 20.12, Katie clocked a time of 2.05.26 to comfortably defeat a field of decent opposition, perhaps more convincingly than the meeting organisers may have expected when putting their seedings together for their series of races. Katie’s winning margin was a very clear 1.31 seconds and was fractionally faster even than the theoretically stronger B race.

Her time moves Katie to the top of the UK U20 women’s rankings for the season to date, albeit one exceptional under 17 has run faster and both the time and the commanding manner of her victory must surely strengthen her claim for a place in the GB team for either the World Youth or European Junior Championship next month. Katie followed the pacemaker as requested by her coach through the bell in 61 seconds and then accelerated impressively away from the field on hitting the front when the pacemaker had dropped out, despite Katie imploring her to try to take her round a bit further. This was a run of sheer quality and she could not have done anything better tactically in this particular race, a performance that her coach James McDonald can be justifiably very proud of, and one which rounded off nicely a busy week for Katie, during which she had finished this year’s exams and also passed her driving theory test before summarily despatching the C race field at Watford. There is a feeling that there must be much more to come on the evidence of this excellent new record run and this record may well fall again soon.

The Bedford International Games meeting was held in wet and windy conditions, with some races being affected by particularly strong winds. Sprinters are never too happy to run into headwinds and Idris Ojuriye would have hoped for conditions that would have allowed him to run much faster than his 10.96 against a -2.4 m/s wind placing a good 2nd in a 100m race and his 22.00 against a -0.5 m/s wind in beating a good quality 200m field who are sub 22 second runners in more favourable weather. Idris, however, had things better than his clubmates, Byron Robinson in a different 100m race and Simeon Ramsey-Graham in another 200m race. Byron ran 11.24 against a -4.3 m/s wind and Simeon had to contend with a -4.6 m/s wind when clocking 22.66 in his race. Paul Oluyemi had problems with his run up in windy conditions and his only valid jump of 3, although this week back over 7 metres will not have pleased him at 7.12m, especially as it proved insufficient for him to make the cut for the first 8 and meant he took no further part. If Paul can find some consistency he does have a huge leap in his locker, but his patience is being tested a little at this point in the season.

The London Inter Club Challenge offers individual competition as well as a team element, and at least two HHH athletes took the opportunity to compete at Barnet Copthall stadium as Shola Olojo returned to good effect from the injury that had prevented him from travelling to Exeter for our British League match the week before by winning the triple jump with a best of 14.31m. A disastrous race over 110m hurdles for Thomas Ashby in Exeter led him to seek redemption at Copthall, where he ran under 15 seconds not once, but twice, clocking 14.92 and then 14.87 and either of these times would have comfortably have won a race the week before in which he had placed only 7th. He will be looking to further improve on this and get fully back into his hurdling groove at the HHH Open Meeting and Club Championship at Tooting Bec on Saturday.

Full results of the Watford BMC Elite Grand Prix Meeting are at this link:

Full results of the Bedford International Games are at this link: