Brother and sister Oscar and Saskia Millard celebrated individual victories, while Cathy Ansell was a further winner, as Herne Hill Harriers’ winter cross country campaign burst into life on Saturday.
The triumphs came in different parts of London, as male and female Surrey cross country leagues had season-opening fixtures at Farthing Downs and Richmond Park.
Saskia Millard and Ansell took the individual accolades in the U15G and senior women’s races respectively, with Oscar Millard seizing victory in the U13B event. The siblings also led their age category teams to overall first places to begin the season on a high.
Oscar was backed by impressive runs from Mohammed Ali (third), Alex Ferri (10th) and Ned Craddock (15th) in the U13B race, while Saskia’s support came in the shape of Zoe Tompkins (fourth), Kayah Wilks (ninth) and Tatiana Cooke (10th) in the U15G race. Herne Hill’s U13G also ended the fixture as league leaders after Clarissa Nicholls (second), Lulu King (sixth), Amy Miller (seventh) and Ursula Hall (10th) dominated the front end of the pack.
Despite Ansell’s control of the senior women’s race, the squad could only finish ninth overall. Karen Ellison was 15th, Helen Hadjam 77th, Abby Penfield 85th and Ruth Chalmers 90th.
Harriers’ men were also frustrated in their team performance in a league that they dominated in the early years of the century. The men’s squad could only muster a sixth-place finish out of nine teams. Individually, Chris Busaileh was the leading clubman in 10th with Simon Coombes (20th), Jeff Cunningham (26th), Alan Barnes (29th), Mohammed Ismail (43rd) and Tim Elsey (46th). Harriers can typically expect its top-10 finishers to be among the first 50, but a strong field and a lack of depth in the squad showed as Tom Conlon (62nd), Jonny Muir (67th), Jonathan Ratcliffe (81st) and Sam Knight (89th) made up the remaining four scorers.
Meanwhile, Harriers lie fifth in the U15/U17 league, with Paul Burgess (seventh), Mohammed Mohammud (16th), Andrez Famner (26th) and George Boritsch (74th) making up the counting quartet.
Away from cross country, Louis Waterman-Evans ran an even-paced race at the Kingston Run Challenge to finish second in the 16-mile event in one hour, 36 minutes, 38 seconds. Sean Fitzpatrick was seventh in the 24-mile race in 2:35.47. Vic Maughn was a winner at the Dulwich parkrun in 17.21.