Herne Hill Harriers throws international Michella Obijiaku has started her competition year in top form as on Saturday from her US collegiate base she improved her own club senior women’s shot put record by 7cm with a best throw of 16.30m.
Competing in the Don Kirby Invite meet in New Mexico, Albuquerque, Obijiaku looks set for another good season following last year’s breakthrough which saw her represent Italy at the European Under 23 Championship in Sweden in July. She will hope to build on this level of performance in Olympic year, in which there is also a European Championship for senior athletes outdoors in August.
Locally the Harriers track and field athletes enjoyed a very successful Surrey County Indoor Championship at the David Weir Leisure Centre, bringing home more medals in total than any other club in the county.
Dante Clarke won two gold medals in the first hour of the championships as he set a new championship best performance in the U15 boys long jump with 6.23m and went straight to win the high jump clearing 1.75m, an event in which Andrew Barrett was an excellent third in 1.65m
There was another championship best performance in the U15 girls 60m where Sapphire Haley returned from missing last summer through injury to run a good 7.73 and with Alecia Davidson placing third in 8.08 for a bronze medal.
Herne Hill jumpers were in superb form all weekend with Mabel Smith clearing 1.70m in the U17 women’s high jump to take gold, leading a clean sweep of U17 women’s jumping gold medals with Jasmine Coss Mullings taking the long jump title with 4.99m and Makarios Mensah the triple jump with a PB of 10.92m. Niyah Costley was third in the long jump but found ample compensation in the 60m final the following day winning gold in 7.76.
A strong event over the weekend for Harriers athletes was the triple jump where there were wins from Aaron Brown in the senior mens event with 12.73m, Ignatius Abebrese in the U17 men’s event with 13.17m and Michaela Mensah third in the U20 women’s event in 10.60m. Abebrese was also third in the long jump the day before with 5.99m, while Morgan Lewis was second in the U20 men’s long jump with 5.79m.
Harriers young male throwers were in superb form on Sunday morning where Kai Broadbent with a PB of 13.38m and Alie Sesay also with a PB of 11.06m had a superb 1-2 for gold and silver in the U17 men’s age group backed up by Alex Abebrese in the U15 boys shot in a new PB of 12.84m.
More medals were claimed on the track with a debut win at County level from U13 boy Luca Anderson with 8.10, while Esther Fuja and Vanessa Grant set seasons bests in the women’s 60m final where they finished second and third to contribute to a very encouraging championship for the club athletes and their coaches.
On the roads on Saturday morning Nick Bester placed second at the Runthrough 10km road race in Battersea Park with a sub 32 minutes clocking (31:52) and Steph McCall was second woman in the race with her 35:42.
Despite Storm Dennis the club organised successfully the third Downs League cross country fixture on a saturated Epsom Downs, where the young distance runners won the U11 boys, U13 girls U13 boys and U15 boys team races as they get ready for next weekends National cross country championships in Nottingham where Herne Hill expect the to have representation in all of the age groups from under 13 through to seniors.