With the track and field season now well under way, every weekend is now a busy one, as illustrated by the date clash – controversial in some eyes – last Saturday of the British Milers Club (BMC) Grand Prix meeting at Sportcity in Manchester and the various county championships taking place across the country. For the older generation the British Masters road relay championship was also held at Sutton Coldfield.
Herne Hill’s leading female 800m runner Katie Snowden made good progress from her opening race at Stretford as she lined up as the youngest competitor in a stellar field in the women’s BMC A race. Snowden’s time of 2:03.54 for sixth place was an improvement of two seconds in a race won by Jenny Meadows in an Olympic qualifying time of 2:01.29 and in which the first seven of nine athletes recorded sub 2:04 in what is currently one of Great Britain’s strongest track events. Also at Sportcity, 18 year old Lascelles Hussey and Irish club member Eric Keogh ran big personal best times at 1500m (3:53.13) and 5000m (14.31.31) respectively.
Closer to home at Kingsmeadow in the Surrey County athletics championship, Harriers athletes bagged a haul of twenty-two gold medals and fifteen silver medals, headed by three who registered championship best performances. Two of these came in the youngest age groups, as Maisie Collis won the under 13 girls 1500m in 4:52.7 and Jaden Kennedy the u13 boys race at the same distance in 4:34.50. The other was a rare senior men’s meeting record with Rushane Thomas beginning his season with a PB of 14.36 in the 110m hurdles.
Other gold medallists from the club were U13s Faith Price (200m, also winning 100m silver) and Layla Wilkinson (emphatic 800m win); U15s Ore Adamson (long jump), Jessica Collins (high jump), Lulu King (800m), Mackenzie Laban (hammer) and Tiarnan Matthews (shot); U17s Denisha Marshall-Brown (discus and shot), Eimear Griffin (800m) and Rayan Moumneh (shot); U20s Michella Obijiaku (shot), Latario Brown (long jump), Kyle Cranston (100m) and Billy Black (800m) then our senior winners were Michelle Watson (100m and silver at 200m), Gavin Johnson-Assoon (javelin), Idris Ojuriye (100m) and Nicholas Atwell (another very close 400m race after the BAL a week earlier, but this time our man got the nod). It wasn’t only the winners who excelled, with many other excellent PBs, seasons bests and strong performances across the age groups over the two days of competition.
In the Midlands at the BMAF road relays, Harriers M55 team of Tony Harran, Mike Boyle and Tom Conlon placed eighth in a very competitive three stage race, with Boyle claiming the third fastest overall time of the day in this age group. The M35 team of Simon Coombes, Simon Thompson, Keith Newton, Jonathan Ratcliffe, Robin Sanderson and Jon Key, a couple of whom are quite a few years over 35, did well to place ninth.