Jasmine Nkoso wins gold at South of England Indoor Championships

Herne Hill Harriers’ England Schools international multi eventer Jasmine Nkoso won a South of England Indoor Championships age group gold medal as part of a busy weekend of competition for her at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre, writes Geoff Jerwood.

Nkoso finished fifth in the U15 girls 60m hurdles in 9.49, then on Sunday was fifth in the long jump with 5.00m and seventh in the high jump with 1.55m. Her gold medal performance came in the shot, which she won with a PB of 12.49m.

Also on Sunday, in the U17 men’s 400m, Fred Hake easily qualified for the final in heat one with 53.72. He then stormed to a strong win in the final with another impressive Herne Hill gold, clocking 51.35.

On Saturday the first Harriers gold medal of the weekend was won by Maliyah Boothe, clearing 1.38m in the under 13 girls high jump. Boothe also qualified for the 60m semifinal, where her fifth place in 8.61 didn’t see her advance into the final.

Also on Saturday Sasha Nolan was fifth in the U13 girls 60m final in 8.39 after running 8.37 in her heat. She then claimed a silver medal in the long jump with 4.67m.

Outdoors there was big cross country action in the third round of the Surrey League season on a mainly dry Wimbledon Common on Saturday.

Harriers enjoyed large turnouts in the senior races with 46 men and 19 women finishers. The women’s A team were best placed from the club through the age groups on the day in third, only two points behind second placed Thames Hare & Hounds.

They were led by New Zealand World Cross Country Championship team member Georgie Grgec, who was a comfortable winner and vindicated the decision to include this race as part of her preparation for the global event in late March. Her winning margin of 49 seconds was impressive at this stage of her build up.

The remaining A team scorers were Grace Leyland in her highest league position so far of 12th, Jenny Nandi 23rd, U20 Kaitlin Hewitt 33rd and Charlotte Davies 42nd. The B team placed 11th overall and were second of the B teams. The scoring runners were Shannon Sinclair 54th, Megan Gildea 61st, Julia Wedmore 65th, Hannah Edwards 74th and Karen Ellison 76th. Sue Swaine was 79th.

The U13 boys and girls races both featured Herne Hill winners as Sophia Mendes and Edward Cunniffe claimed the spoils.

Mendes was the sole representative from the club in her age group, but Cunniffe led his team to fourth place. Behind him were Luca Boulton third, Dominic Brennan 45th and Rufus Octave 47th.

The U17 women’s team finished fourth, courtesy of Orla Carroll ninth, Martha Brennan 15th, Vivi Marshall 20th and Rosalie Laban 22nd. An incomplete U15 girls team was represented by Florence Mills in fifth, and Lily Kitto in ninth.

The U15 and U17 men raced together as a combined team and placed sixth, led by Leau Roch who although 16th overall, was the second U15 finisher. Vincent Peake was 43rd, Noah Turner 53rd and Herbert Clark 62nd.

The men’s team came sixth in a very strong field which saw 352 runners complete the same challenging technical 8km course which was later run by the women. Harriers supplied 46 men in the huge field, led by an excellent run by Sam Bramwell in fourth place, only one second behind the second finisher.

The men’s A team scoring 10 was completed by Daniel Shaw 35th, Lewis Laylee 42nd, Ben Warren 65th, James Nutt 71st, David Moyse 80th, George Withers 84th, Ashley Goncalves 87th, John Franklin 98th and Mike Cummings 107th. Goncalves raised a few eyebrows as this was his debut in the red and black vest in his first ever cross country race, having started his affiliation with Herne Hill through joining the Tooting Run Club community project.

More Harriers athletes perforned well indoors at Lee Valley. In the U17 women’s 200m heats on Sunday Lily-Rose Brown won in 26.78 and Ella Rennie also won in 26.30.

Brown won her semi-final in a new indoor PB of 25.89 to qualify for the competitions, but then hurt her back competing in the high jump. Rennie qualified in second place in her semi with 26.00.

Rennie finished fourth in 26.06 in the final and Brown sixth in 26.39, the latter after a last-minute decision to compete. Rennie was fifth the day before in the 60m final in 7.93.

Geoff Jerwood

link to the Lee Valley Athletics Centre is https://www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/lee-valley/athletics-centre