Herne Hill Harriers’ U13B and U15G squads struck gold at the South of England cross country relay championships on Saturday, while a M50 quartet also took gold in the Surrey Masters cross country championships.
The club’s junior gold-winning squads at Wormwood Scrubs both had to come from behind, with the respective last leg runners, Oscar Millard and Alex Brown, chasing down leaders.
Mohammed Ali, who led the U13B squad’s charge, ended his leg in fourth behind Blackheath and Bromley, with Freddie Hodgson passing two runners to push Harriers into second. Starting 50 metres behind the leader, Millard soon closed the gap and eventually led his team to victory by around 80 metres.
It was a similar story in the U15G competition, with Eloise O’Shaughnessy and Lucy Olsen propelling Harriers into second, with Brown taking the lead midway through her leg and stretching clear to win comfortably.
The U13G squad of Clarissa Nicholls, Amy Miller and Lulu King had to settle for second behind a strong Wycombe outfit. There was also a bronze medal for the U17M team.
A senior men’s team was also in fine fettle at Wormwood Scrubs, with the foursome of Mike Cummings, Simon Coombes, Deron Fagan and Jeff Cunningham scooping silver medals.
Elsewhere, Herne Hill dominated the M50 category at the Surrey Masters cross country. Tom Conlon (first), Garry Ironmonger (second), Mike Boyle (third) and Vic Maughn (fourth) ensured a stunning clean sweep for Herne Hill. A Harriers M40 team could only muster a fifth place finish, despite Jonathan Ratcliffe finishing fifth overall. Ed Barrow was 11th, Mark White 13th and Andrew Simms 17th.
Along with the elevation of Conlon – who was the Surrey senior men’s cross country champion in 1981, two days before his 21st birthday – to a county champion again, Brian Shave was an individual winner in the M80 category, while John Garber was second M70.
The W35 squad were also celebrating as the trio of Abby Penlington, Sam Whiting and Rebecca Barrow won gold, with Jen Barraclough providing good back up. Herne Hill’s M45 team also fielded a squad at the championships for the first time, and ultimately finished sixth, with Mary Setyabule, Sarah Allen and Sonia Williams making up the numbers.
Away from cross country, Mohammed Ismail was Herne Hill’s leading clubman at the Cabbage Patch 10 – which acts as the club’s 10-mile road championship – clocking 55 minutes, 31 seconds to finish in 17th. Robin Sanderson was 121st in 62.48. Mel Edwards ran an impressive personal best of 63.28 to finish as 16th woman.
Herne Hill Harriers were also officially notified this week that a total of £17,261 was raised for Sport Relief through the Tooting Bec mile event held earlier this year. On Sunday, the club host the annual Emer Casey Memorial 10k in Brockwell Park, starting at 9.30am. Entries will be available on the day if the limit has not been reached.