Herne Hill Harriers rising middle distance running star Charlotte Alexander represented her country for the second successive Saturday in Belfast last weekend. Still aged only 16, Alexander made her Great Britain under 20 age group debut racing for the GB Juniors cross country relay team in Stirling on the previous Saturday, having last summer represented GB Under 18s at the European Youth Championship on the track in Hungary.
In the BBC televised Stirling races, Alexander ran in the 4 x 1500m relay at Stirling and was in the finest of company as Laura Muir was running the same stage for the winning GB senior team, with each quartet comprising two male and two females and her GB Junior team placed a good sixth.
Then at the Northern Ireland International cross country meet, incorporating the IAAF World Series and the Home Countries Championships, Alexander followed up with an excellent fifth place in the U20 women’s international race wearing an England vest. In the senior women’s international race Northern Irish Herne Hill members Jessica Craig and Katie Moore placed 28th and 42nd respectively in a very strong field.
Back in London the South of England Indoor track and field championship took place at Lee Valley. Herne Hill athletes brought home two area championship medals with another three athletes finishing in the top six in their events.
A gold medal was won in the Under 20 Women’s 60m as Lakeisha Owusu-Junior ran progressively faster through the rounds of heat, semi-final and final, dominating the latter with a classy winning time of 7.59 seconds. The other medal won by a club member was in the same age group in the 60m hurdles final, where Mallory Cluley claimed a silver with 8.69 seconds.
In the senior men’s 60m final club 100m record holder Marvin Popoola ran 6.97 to place sixth, after having run 6.93 in his heat and 6.91 in his semi-final. Sebastian Wilson Dyer Gough leapt 6.77m to finish sixth in the senior men’s long jump, while in the senior women’s 200m final Eleanor Smith-Hahn clocked 26.00 to place a good fifth after a semi-final time of 25.94 as she gets further into a comeback which could prove very exciting come the outdoor track season this summer.
In a much stronger than usual senior women’s 800m Sarah Grover just missed out on qualifying for her final as she place second in her heat with 2.16.00, while other semi-finalists were David Ryan, third in the senior men’s 400m in 51.48, Cheyanne Evans-Gray who was fourth in the senior women’s 60m semi with 7.68, Michael Miller in the under 20 men’s 60m semi was fifth with 7.04 and Esther Fuja sixth in the senior women’s 200 semi in 26.71.
In road racing, exciting new club member Jordan Foster ran her second PB in as many days as she followed up her fourth fastest overall female nationally in all of the UK’s Saturday parkruns with a first woman victory at the Folksworth 15 on Sunday with a time of 95 min 44. Although there is still a lot of training to be done in the coming months, her time here would project to sub 2.47 for a marathon if she could nail those remaining 11 miles and with Stacey Ormerod and Steph McCall she could form a strong Harriers team for the London Marathon at the end of April.