Herne Hill Harriers Jaden Kennedy is not only a prolific racer, but continues to improve on a weekly basis at the top of the 2016 UK rankings for under 13 boys. Kennedy’s latest exploit surpasses his previous best performances from what has been an amazing season to date. His 1500m PB of 4.21.61 at last Wednesday’s Hercules Wimbledon Open Meeting extends his advantage over the next fastest in the UK in his age group to around 9 seconds and elevates him to fourth on the UK all-time list for this event.
Kennedy has had six 800m races this season and bettered his PB on five occasions, also being currently ranked number one in the UK at this event and is ninth on that UK all-time list with a PB of 2.09.00. In ten races so far over 1500m Kennedy has improved his PB on almost every occasion, one exception being Surrey champs where heats were required and has revised the Harriers club under 13 boys records in both events several times over.
Also last week Harriers senior javelin thrower Gavin Johnson-Assoon was selected to represent England at the Manchester International later this month following his national medal winning performance at the England Championship the previous weekend where he had launched his three biggest throws to date in a great series of six throws at Bedford.
Another England medallist from the same Bedford meeting, Stacey Ward was back in action only five days later as she placed sixth in a very high quality elite women’s 5km road race at the Ipswich Twilight event on Friday evening. In a race where the first ten women to finish all recorded 5km road PBs, Ward’s clocking improved her own previous road best as she was timed at 16 minutes and 39 seconds.
Over the weekend Harriers senior track and field teams were both in action in their final national league matches of the season with mixed fortunes. On Saturday in the British Athletics League at Basingstoke the men’s team suffered a calamitous end to the season, being woefully short of a full team. Although the team members who were present put up a magnificent battle they were unable to score sufficient points to avoid placing eighth of the eight teams in the match, which resulted in a disappointing relegation from the second tier, BAL National One to the division below. Harriers athletes did nevertheless manage three individual wins on the day, courtesy of Gavin Johnson-Assoon in the javelin, Thomas Ashby in the discus and Samuel Adeyemi in the B string 400m.
In Sunday’s UK Women’s League fixture at Kingsmeadow Harriers ladies finished their campaign with third place to consolidate their third place finishing position in the League. As with previous matches in this league Harriers middle distance squad contributed greatly towards the team score with A and B string wins from Steph Mitchell and Katie Kedward in the 800m, Steph McCall winning the 3000m and Natasha Lodge first in the B 1500m with a PB. While the men’s team will seek to bounce back at the first attempt in 2017, the women can be optimistic of their own promotion chances as a number of current under 17 girls will become old enough to compete in this league next year.