Championship and club records for Michaela Obijiaku in the USA

Herne Hill Harriers female athletes continue their excellent year both at home and abroad, as hot on the heels of the successes of the women’s road relay national silver medals and Charlotte Alexander at home and Chloe Tighe in Australia, USA collegiate club member Michaela Obijiaku has also been busy setting new standards in the throwing events.

At the highly ranked CAA Championship at Elon NC Obijiaku produced her best yet in a succession of recent record performances as she was the double winner of the women’s hammer and shot with throws of 58.71m and 16.23m respectively.

These were both big personal bests and are new Herne Hill Harriers club senior women’s’ records. To highlight the quality of these efforts, Obijiaku was at the end of the meeting presented with the award for the female field athlete of the meet. With one more competition remaining to try to qualify for the main NCAA championship. She will then return to London to compete in UK domestic events such as the England under 23 Championship at Bedford in June.

Domestically Harriers athletes were in track and field action at the BMC PB Classic meet at Millfield School in Somerset, the British Students (BUCS) Championship at Bedford and the Herne Hill Harriers Open meeting at Tooting Bec on bank holiday Monday.

At the BMC races English Schools 1500m champion Alexandra Brown opened her season with a very good early mark of 4.29.63 in a race against boys, with this coming Saturday’s Surrey county championship at Kingsmeadow next on her race list. In the 800m races under 15 boys Harvey Kande and Zachary Crowther ran good PB times of 2.07.73 and 2.08.70 in separate races. Hebe Hunter 4.59.37 and Eva Holland 5.17.86 both ran their first 1500m outdoor races of the year.

At the BUCS Champs in Bedford Dan Ryan placed 7th in the men’s shot with a throw of 12.73m after a qualifying throw of 12.83m, while his younger brother David qualified for the semi-finals of the 400m with good times of 50.19 and 50.42, a little outside his recent PB. Ella Newton and Kate Brown also qualified for the semi-finals of the women’s 1500m, with times of 4.42.96 and 4.50.48 in races where the pace was wound up towards the end, as is typical in championship racing. Another athlete to reach the semi-finals in a high standard competition was Eleanor Smith-Hahn who recorded very good times of 25.23 and 24.91 in the women’s 200m.

The Herne Hill open meeting at Tooting saw a busy day, with results still being finalised, but the day was a success with thanks to all athletes, officials and volunteers who make these events happen.

Away from the track Jonathan Ratcliffe ran his third marathon in less than a month, clocking 2 hours 51 minutes placing first M50 as an amazing follow up to his recent 2.42 in Rotterdam and 2.43 in London. These performances further illustrate that Ratcliffe is an exception to the normal “rules” of running and an exceptional Masters Road racer.

In parkruns, two Harriers athletes were among the ten fastest females in the UK on Saturday. Re-emerging under 20 Saskia Millard, now studying at Birmingham University was third fastest of the day with her 16.57 at Cannon Hill, while on Tooting Common Helena Corbin’s 18.03 placed her tenth overall of all UK runs.

Sunday also saw some good road racing by Herne Hill runners at the Ranelagh Half Marathon in Richmond. Mohammed Ismail led the team home in fourth place, timed at 1 hour 14 minutes 46 seconds. Next in was Andrew Perfect 1.17.04, followed by Henry Brown 1.23.26, Trevor Chilton 1.29.48, Monika Gajek 1.33.06, Robert Nagorski 1.36.551 and Stuart Morrison 1.45.18.