Herne Hill Harriers’ senior women’s squad recorded our best ever placing in the South of England road relay championships at Milton Keynes on Sunday 29 March.
Our six-woman team – with Stacey Ward the pick of the runners clocking the seventh fastest individual time of all women on the day – was sixth, while a men’s squad was tenth, with a complete men’s B team also placing in the championship for the first time.
Elsewhere, Maisie Collis was crowned Year 6 and 7 South-East Schools Inter-Counties cross country champion at Somerhill School in Kent. Year 6 Maisie was racing against older girls from Sussex, Kent, Hampshire, Essex and Surrey, and won by a margin of 10 seconds in a time of nine minutes, 33 seconds on the 2.5km course.
Meanwhile, another junior Harrier, Mohamed Mohamud – fresh from representing England at the Schools’ International a week earlier – was in sensational form as he won the U15B 1500m race at the Havering AC spring warm-up meeting in 4.30.8.
Success for Harriers’ crop of senior women came after the squad placed fourth at the English National cross country championships in February, in which Ward was also to the fore. Following two legs from Mel Edwards and Elysie Jenkins, Ward took over the running in 20th and proceeded to haul Herne Hill into ninth. Hannah Edwards brought the club up to sixth, with subsequent legs from Steph Mitchell moving up to fifth and then Julia Wedmore confirming our sixth placing.
The senior men were as high as ninth following Mike Cummings’ first leg and Jack Hillier on the second, before floating between 14th and 10th as the relay developed. Twelfth man John Tayleur confirmed Harriers’ top-10 finish with a final short-leg run. Cummings was Herne Hill’s fastest long leg runner and Jayme Rossiter the fastest short-leg athlete (4th best in the entire race). The B team finished 36th, with Robin Jones running a long-leg time that rivalled A team athletes.
HHH Women’s and men’s teams both qualified for the National Road Relay Championship in Birmingham on April 11.
Beyond Mohamud, Herne Hill athletes recorded a string of fine performances at Havering. Runners competing over 800m included Annabella Bailey (first in U11G in 2.50.8) and Amy Miller (first in U13G in 2.34.7), with Jessica Tabraham and Valerie Parocki second and fifth in the same race. For the boys, twins Jacob and Ben Harrison claimed a one-two in the U11B 800m, clocking 2.39.1 and 2.41.6 respectively. Eleven-year-old Jaden Kennedy ran in the U15B 800m race, winning in 2.23.4 and moving him up the fifth in the UK age-category rankings.
Mohammed Ali was fourth in the U15B 1500m in 5.13.5 and in the U13B race Toby Reynolds was first in 5.07.4, followed by Jacob Alley (second in 5.23.1) and Jacob Solon (fourth in 5.35.4). Sofia Di Carlo was second in the U13G 1500m in 6:05.2.
Several senior athletes were also in action, including Nicholas Atwell, Peter Phillips and Thomas Ashby, who filled the top-three positions in the 100m. Lyndsay St Luce Boyce was second in the senior women’s 100m. Atwell, Phillips and Lawrence Croll Mensah were also first, second and third in the senior men’s 200m.
Louis Waterman-Evans and Andrew Grigg continued their preparation for the London Marathon at the Spitfire 20, finishing in ninth and 16th positions respectively. Waterman-Evans clocked two hours, five minutes, 35 seconds, and Grigg 2.08.55. Ieva Lobaciute was ninth woman in 2.30.11. Damien Wilson also made the trip to Kent, finishing in 155th in 2.39.38. Racing at the Paddock Wood half-marathon, Mark Blee was 74th in 1.23.48, closely pursued by Rick Pearson in 80th, clocking 1.24.20.
In the pick of parkrun action, Alex Hobley ran a personal best of 17.04 in finishing third at Burgess Park. Mohammed Ismail was a winner at Brockwell Park in 17.19, while teenager Paul Burgess was third in 17.49.