Three wins at the Southern Cross Country relay championships and teams in eight of the ten age groups


Results were not available at the time of writing this report-apologies if I have missed any key performances (plus some timings may be one or two seconds out)

Tearing around the flatlands of Wormwood Scrubs, the Club’s young athletes’ teams delivered a smash and grab of gold medals. So audacious was the raid, that inmates doing time in the adjacent HM Prison would have been looking on enviously.

Starting the pincer movement were the U17W teams, fresh from their third and fifth places in the National Road Relay Championships, Birmingham. Ella Newton led the team off with a strong first leg, finishing 5th in 8.39. Zoe Tompkins ran a storming leg on two, moving the team into a clear lead, with an 8.49 clocking. Olivia Stillman, who made her debut at Birmingham, ran superbly on leg three to anchor the team to a clear victory. Her 8.44 was an excellent solo performance. For the incomplete B team, Mollie O’Sullivan made her (non-scoring) debut for the Club. Running a brave race that reflects her outstanding pedigree, Mollie led the field early on, and came in just behind Ella in a time of 8.44. Mollie, a member of Wayne Vinton’s training group, further strengthens our U17W squad. She has PBs of 2.10 and 4.34 and some outstanding cross country performances to her name. A big Herne Hill welcome to Mollie, who should be clear to run first claim for HHH from 1/11/16. Jemima Hayward-Bhikha ran the second leg for the B team.

There were further wins and individual fastest times in the girls and boys U13 age groups. Both teams enjoyed emphatic wins and were anchored by two of the Club’s outstanding middle distance athletes, Maisie Collis and Jaden Kennedy. On the opening leg, Eva Holland continued her very strong start to the 16/17 winter season by ‘winning’ with a time of 7.46. Layla Wilkinson, 8.08, ran a strong second leg to keep the team very much in contention, finishing in third place. There were mutterings as to whether Maisie on leg three could close the gap on the two ahead. Most of us had no doubt as, chasing down athletes in this manner, Maisie is at her very best and on the fast going course was able to exploit her track speed. Maisie ran 7.22, quickest U13G of the day and not too much slower than the quickest U15G!

The HHH winning U13 boy’s team from Birmingham took full control of proceedings. Jacob and Benjamin Harrison established a big lead for Jaden Kennedy, running 7.12 and 7.18. Christo Chilton also had an excellent run on leg one, with a 7.18 split. Jaden Kennedy anchored the U13 team with another display of superb distance running, opening up a big lead with his 6.48 posting, easily fastest U13B of the day.

The U15 girl’s team recorded a top ten placing, and demonstrated good strength in depth. Lulu King led off with a 7.43 opening leg, and it was great to welcome back Rosie Hammond, another top 20 national cross country championship performer from last season, who ran an excellent 7.36. Lily Newton was below par following a football injury the previous week, but anchored the team to a top ten finish, and they were well backed up by B and C teams.

Further placings and individual times are awaited for other HHH teams.

Roll on Mansfield in two weeks’ time!

Keith Newton, 23/10/16