Impressive Surrey Cross Country medals haul for Herne Hill at Denbies

U20 women team gold medals
U15B team gold medals
Ed Cunniffe U13B gold
Caspian Holmes U15B gold
Poppy Craig-McFeely U20W silver
Grace Leyland 11th senior women

Herne Hill Harriers athletes kicked off a new calendar year of competition with an excellent collection of county cross country championship medals on the surprisingly dry hills of the Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking on Sunday.

Individual medals were won by Edward Cunniffe, under 13 boys gold, Caspian Holmes under 15 boys gold and Poppy Craig-McFeely under 20 women’s silver as all three athletes led their respective teams to medals. 

Holmes continued another exciting season in his first year in the U15B age group as he took the win by 14 seconds. He was also a team gold medal winner along with Thomas Clerkin seventh, James Clement-Nash 11th and Archy Atkinson 13th. The scoring quartet were well backed up by Leau Roch 17th, Jack McLennan 24th, Zachary Morris 32nd and Lucas Heath 34th.

The other winning Harriers team was the U20W, who despite having three runners in the first nine only prevailed by a single point in a very close battle with Epsom & Ewell. Craig-McFeely in second, Kaitlin Hewitt in fifth and Hebe Hunter in ninth secured a superb win in a three to score team, with Serene Kiladejo placing 20th in a good quality field.

Cunniffe’s U13B win spearheaded a silver medal team performance, with the other team scorers being Luca Boulton 13th, Anton Thomas 16th and Henry Kucerov 26th. Arnold Duan in 28th finished only one second shy of making the scoring four. 

The U15 girls took team bronze thanks to good team packing from Florence Mills 10th, Maeve Minielly 13th, Lily Kitto 18th and Sophie Jack 19th.

It was a similar story for the U20 men as they also grouped well to claim bronze, finishing even closer together with Harry Bell 10th, Robin Bebbington 12th and Alex Jack 13th the three scorers. Sam Maloney placed 23rd.
The U13 girls placed fifth team with Sofia Mendes 10th, Isobel McLennan 18th, Isobel Carter 28th and Marnie Millar 55th. 
The senior women also placed fifth in a strongly contested team race, just one point behind the fourth team. More galling was that straight after the race it had been announced that they had missed out on bronze medals by a point before a recount confirmed the final scores.
Grace Leyland continued her fine season leading the team in 11th, followed in by Jenny Nandi 18th, W50 Nikki Sturzaker 20th and Charlotte Davies completing the scoring team in 24th. Shannon Sinclair was then 28th, Julia Wedmore 36th, W40 Suzanne Swaine 37th, Catriona Witcombe 42nd and Annabelle Acres 49th, as 13 Herne Hill women completed the tough couple of laps amounting to 8.4km.
Harriers U17 men finished eighth team with Alex Wilson 28th, Patryk Cendrzak 38th and Vincent Peake 46th. The only race in which the club was unable to complete a team was the U17 women, where some representation nevertheless came from Martha Brennan 21st and Rosalie Laban 28th.
A very depleted senior men’s team finished ninth of 18 complete teams. The six team scorers packed well, these being M45 Ben Millar 70th, Scott Morrison just behind him in 71st, George Melville 81st, Jack Coy 92nd, Tom Irish 97tn and Chris Speed 104th. They were backed up by another ten men, with the highest placed of these being John Foxall 107th, M55 Norman Urquia 112th, Stephen McLeod 123rd, Jamie Brown 124th, another M55 Jonathan Ratcliffe 128th and M40 Pip Bennett 135th of 242 finishers. 
At other county cross country championships Ben Warren claimed a bronze medal in Bedfordshire, Tom O’Mahoney was seventh U20M in Yorkshire and James Nutt was eighth in the Leicestershire & Rutland championship. 

Geoff Jerwood