The weekend saw the British Athletics Indoor Championship in Birmingham, with BBC red button coverage and the two highest level senior athletes from Herne Hill Harriers, Katie Snowden and Kristal Awuah both won bronze medals in their National finals.
Katie Snowden returned from training in South Africa and described her participation in Birmingham as a gamble, following some interruptions due to a knee injury. Snowden won her women’s 1500m heat in a controlled manner in 4.22.13 on Saturday and then in the last event of the championship on Sunday, a tactical race saw Snowden make the first real move of the race before being overhauled by two strong finishing rivals as she placed third in a season’s best time of 4.19.34. With the current strength of British female middle distance racing, Snowden may not secure selection for the GB team for the upcoming European Indoor Championship in Glasgow as she has yet to attain the qualifying time this season, but her performance was encouraging at this early stage of the year and she can be happy to bring home another national championship medal.
Awuah will also have to wait until the British team is announced as her third place in the women’s 60m final means she narrowly missed the automatic places available to the first two finishers if they have the qualifying standard. However, as Awuah has herself run the time she is in a strong position for the third team place. After winning her heat and placing second in her semi-final, Awuah will, like Snowden, have been frustrated to finish third in her final. Her final time of 7.35 was not her best, but importantly won her a medal and put her in the mix for Glasgow selection, especially given her very strong PB performances in Berlin a week earlier.
Harriers were out in force in the Surrey League cross country races with the senior teams performing superbly, the women in Richmond Park and the men in Lloyd Park. The Herne Hill women’s team smashed it in their Division 1 race with the full A team of 5 finishing in the top 15!
Stacey Ormerod made light of tired legs from a big week of training to clearly win the race, followed in by new member Jordan Foster, who began her HHH team life with a fabulous seventh place, Sarah Grover was eighth and Fiona de Mauny tenth. The A team was closed in fifteenth, thanks to a great breakthrough run for Olivia Zeltner.
Harriers women’s B team also won by a clear margin, courtesy of Nikki Sturzaker 34th, Lara Langston 48th, Katie Balme 57th, Aimee Hargreaves 58th and Helen Hadjam 67th.
The Herne Hill men’s teams did not win but the boys done good, to use a football phrase. Finishing fourth team on the day and fifth overall in the end of season standings was an excellent effort for the A team of Chris Busaileh 13th, Richard Henderson 24th, Lewis Laylee 32nd, Andrew Warburton 35th, Mike Cummings 41st, Andrew Clarke 42nd, Angus Butler 54th, Simon Coombes 56th, a very welcome newcomer Peter Hart 57th and closed in by another Surrey League XC debutant Josh Pewter 61st.
Herne Hill B team placed second on the day, beating the Division 1 A team champions Hercules Wimbledon by one point into third, a super show of squad depth. The team comprised Jeff Cunningham in 63rd, followed in by some others who would more usually score in the A team, Jack Dickenson 76th, Alan Barnes 77th, Jack Brotchie 78th, Andrew Grigg 81st, Carl Delaney 88th, Matthew Munro 97th, Bryn Reynolds 99th, Simon Thompson 110th and John Appleton 116th.
In the women’s league there is still have one race remaining on Saturday 2nd March in Lloyd Park. Having been 83 points behind Southern Cross country champions Thames Hare & Hounds before Saturday’s race, Herne Hill are now only 31 in arrears going into the final race and could now have the opportunity to take the league title race down to the wire.