Charlotte Alexander made her Great Britain under 20 age group debut racing for the GB Juniors cross country relay team in Stirling at the weekend, having previously represented GB Under 18s at the European Youth Championship on the track in Hungary last summer.
Alexander ran the slightly longer anchor leg for her British team in the 4 x 1500m relay at Stirling and was in the finest of company as Laura Muir was running the same stage for the winning GB senior team, with each quartet comprising two male and two females. The GB Junior team finished a good sixth and this race was more excellent high level racing experience for Charlotte, who at age 16 is still in the Under 17 age group.
This weekend she will race at the Northern Ireland International Cross Country, which incorporates the IAAF World Series, Home Countries International in Belfast and will be part of the England U20 women’s team.
Closer to home, the Herne Hill Harriers men bounced back from the previous weekend’s senior team disappointment at the Surrey County cross country championship in Lloyd Park as the club turned out well with 27 finishers at the Surrey League men’s cross country fixture, which Herne Hill hosted on Mitcham Common on Saturday.
This strong numerical representation enabled Harriers to finish sixth of the A teams on the day in Division 1 for the third successive match of three so far. However, the swings and roundabouts of other teams points scores in the fixtures mean that Herne Hill remain fifth of the nine teams in the top division with one match to go and can certainly secure this “comfortable mid table” position with one more strong team for the final match next month.
The Achilles heel at the moment for the Herne Hill men is having nobody at the very sharp end of the field despite excellent team packing behind the leading runner in red and black. The fact that the B team placed a good fourth on the day is an illustration of squad depth within the so-called engine room and is a foundation for future success.
Mike Cummings and Richard Henderson led the A team in very solid 28th and 45th positions. Alex Hobley ran well in 53rd in front of a crowd of team mates as Alan Barnes 61st, Jeff Cunningham 63rd, Simon Coombes 64th, Andrew Clarke 66th, Jack Dickenson 72nd, Andrew Grigg 83rd and Angus Butler 88th all followed closely to close the scoring A team of 10 runners.
There were two more Harriers men in the top 100 heading the B team as Jack Brotchie placed 97th and Nick Bester, making his long awaited cross country debut finishing 100th. The remainder of ther B team were Raj Paranandi 110th, Eoin Brady 114th, Matt Munro 122nd, Myles Preston 128th, Jonathan Ratcliffe 148th, Gav Newsum 155th, Sam Knight 165th and Henry Brown 175th.
To complete the Herne Hill men’s line up were seven more finishers, Derek Lee 179th, Bob Creed 184th, Trevor Chilton 190th, Andrew Simms 210th, Duncan Rimmer 223rd, 64 year old club president Valdis Pauzers 229th and 77 year old John Garber 235th.
In the under 13 boy’s race within the overall young athletes race of three age groups run together, Oak Buchan placed sixth and Diego Lister seventh as the Herne Hill under 13s were third team on the day in this category. Jacob Taylor was an excellent fourth overall in the under 17/under 15 sub section and was actually second placed of the under 15s on the day. The combined under 15/under 17 boys team placed fourth on the day.