Two Herne Hill Harriers club records were set over the Bank Holiday weekend. First on Sunday Ella Newton set a HHH club under 17 women’s record at 1500m steeplechase clocking 5.24.83 at a Young Athletes Development League match at Ashford in Kent. This was Ella’s first ever race over steeplechase barriers and her time was just inside the English Schools Championship qualifying standard, for a very promising debut in this event.
Harriers Open Meeting at Tooting Bec Athletics Track on Monday saw some top running and field events and the feature event was the Stan Allen Mile. In honour of the club’s late, long serving middle distance athlete and coach, Stan would have approved of a series of races in which Lewis Laylee (second in 4.32.83), Mohammed Ismail (third in 4.33.39) and Jeff Cunningham (fifth in 4.41.37) were all prominent, while the race also saw the second club record of the long weekend. Australian club member Chloe Tighe gave the first glimpse of her potential to be one of our next club stars as her strong fluent final lap saw her finish first woman, crossing the line six seconds ahead of England cross country international Steph McCall of South London Harriers. Chloe’s time of 4.54.11 was a HHH women’s club mile record over a distance that is relatively infrequently contested on the track.
In the throwing events, Michael Wheeler increased his season’s best in the senior men’s shot put to 15.57m with a strong series of throws all above 15 metres, while in the sprints 400m specialist Nicholas Atwell claimed the club 100m championship with a time of 10.80, from Idris Ojuriye (10.88) and another 400m man Peter Phillips (11.00). Atwell and Phillips both followed this up with strong openers to their 400m season, placing second (48.46) and fourth (48.90) respectively in a high quality race during the most difficult wind conditions of the afternoon. Among the younger athletes, national cross country medalist Alex Brown – now in the under 17 age group on the track – ran a good 800m PB of 2.17.20, just behind under 13 boy Jaden Kennedy, with an excellent PB time of 2.17.05 which currently tops the UK rankings for his age group.