Balham based international athletics star Katie Snowden’s track racing return from injury continued apace at the Bromley Twilight Meeting on Friday evening in Norman Park with a very close second place in strong women’s A 800m race in a fast time of 2:02.40.
Very windy conditions and athletes making their seasonal debuts at the distance led to a more tactical affair with all five athletes in contention until the final bend. The current European Under 20 champion Isabelle Boffey stole just enough daylight to keep the strongly charging Snowden at bay in the finishing straight as she prevailed over the Herne Hill Harrier by three tenths of a second in an exciting battle to the line.
For Snowden this was another very positive step in her comeback and a good performance given that this was her first 800m race in two years. This performance saw her holding a top ten UK ranking position at both 800m and 1500m in the year to date with every expectation that she can move further up in these lists.
This was a middle distance track meet of exceptionally high quality for a locally promoted event and it saw the main men’s 3000m race produce the four fastest times at the distance in the world so far this year. Other Herne Hill athletes competing were Great Britain Junior international Saskia Millard who clocked a PB 9:20.28 in placing fifth in the women’s A 3000m in her first race as a senior athlete and Sarah Grover who produced a very pleasing 10:03.02 for third in the women’s C 3000m.
Meanwhile in Milton Keynes a 5km road race event was run in waves of 10 runners per race and as at Bromley the strong wind did not help the times. The event saw great Herne Hill representation with fourteen athletes from the club who put in a superb all round effort, faced with a strong wind against the final mile or more of the one lap course.
The chip times recorded for the Harriers in fastest first order were Carl Delaney 15:04, Nick Dewar 15;10, Andrew Warburton 15:34, Brandon Dewar 15;35, Jack Brotchie 15:37, Marc Geraghty 15:39, Raj Paranandi 16:03, Matt Cartwright 16:30, Myles Preston 16:30, Jeff Cunningham 16:37, Simon Coombes 16:53, Steph McCall 17:00 for one of the quickest women’s times, Tony Macdowall 18:16 and Julia Wedmore 18:51.
There was also an excellent run in Northern Ireland on Saturday produced by Jessica Craig whose hard training is being rewarded as she ran a big 20 seconds PB for 5km of 16:29, a time that has only been eclipsed by three other HHH female athletes so far in the history of the club.
On Saturday afternoon competition returned to Tooting Bec Athletics Track as the South London Athletics Network of clubs jointly organised a sprints only meeting which Herne Hill helped to promote. The events were 100m, 300m and 400m and performances included some strong runs from Harriers members.
In the 100m races Herne Hill athletes were led by U20 Memphis Ayoade with a PB 11.14, with Victor Nzolele 11.17 and another U20 Micah Goode 11.54. Isaac Ogunlade clocked 36.67 in the rarely run 300m distance and in the 400m middle distance athletes James Stocker and U20 Dylan Sweet rah PBs of 52.25 and 53.84 respectively and U17 Oli Hector recorded a PB 54.83.
Sapphire Haley was Herne Hill’s fastest female over 100m and her 12.7 ranks her tenth among UK Under 15 girls so far this year. Another U15 Nevaeh Ricketts clocked a good 12.87, Alecia Davidson, also U15 ran 13.05 and fellow U15 Britley Fenning stopped the clock at 13.48.
This event went very well and gave local athletes a very welcome opportunity to return to track racing. Hopefully the success of this venture will see Herne Hill receive a permit to promote an evening meeting with 800m and 3000m races on Wednesday 2nd September.
One more very notable sprint performance came from Under 23 Micheal Miller who reinforced his position at the top of the Harriers 100m rankings to date with a fine 10.74 at Dagenham on Sunday as more of our club athletes are able to take to the track and the road in competitive action.
Photo credits James Rhodes