Katie Snowden to race for England at Birmingham Commonwealth Games

Snowden racing on the new Birmingham track in May
Lily Newton with her silver medal (right)

Balham’s Katie Snowden has been selected to represent Team England at the Commonwealth Games to be held in Birmingham later this summer. 

England Athletics have named a squad of 72 athletes to compete in the newly revamped Alexander Stadium, with the Herne Hill Harrier included in the women’s 1500m, for which the heats are scheduled for Friday 5th August and the final two days later on Sunday 7th. 

Although Snowden had run times inside the qualifying standard for the event on half a dozen occasions last year, there was also priority given to athletes who ran faster than 4:07.00 this year before the selection deadline in mid June. Snowden’s season opener in California in May of 4:03.90 saw her top the British rankings for a couple of weeks and this was backed up by a time of 4:06.08 in Sweden on the final day of the Qualification Period. 

This is a busy championship year for current and aspiring senior international athletes as before the Birmingham games there will be the World Athletics Championship from 15th July in Eugene, Oregon. The Team GB World Trials will be held at this coming weekend’s Muller UK Athletics Championship in Manchester, from which Snowden will also hope she can achieve team selection.

Along with good news often comes the not so good, as is the case with the disappointing omission of Herne Hill’s former World Junior Championship 100m medallist Kristal Awuah from the England team. 

Awuah had a strong case for inclusion in the 4 x 100m s sprint relay squad based on her performances in the last two seasons to date and has a current top five ranking in her event this year. As will no doubt be the case with some other athletes, Awuah will now be all the more keen to gain selection for the Worlds at this weekend’s trials meet and perhaps also looking to make a belated point to the England team selectors. 

Other Herne Hill athletes due to compete in Manchester are Michael Miller and Niyah Costley, in the men’s and women’s 100m respectively, Arlo Ludewick in the men’s 1500m and Isaac Ogunlade in the men’s 400m hurdles. 

At the South of England Championship on Saturday another Herne Hill club senior record was set, following two at the Watford BMC Grand Prix seven days earlier. 

As with the previous weekend’s new record holders, Lily Newton is also in her first year in the Under 23 age group, but also like the others her record was set while competing in senior competition. A superb silver medal winning performance in the 3000m steeplechase saw her run a senior women’s club record time of 11.34.67 in her debut at this longer race distance. 

Newton’s father Keith, a former Harriers Club President, has overseen her technical training sessions over the barriers and they celebrate a unique stat within the club that both father (M40) and daughter (senior women) now currently hold club records simultaneously in the same event. 

Other Herne Hill athletes competing at Chelmsford included Myles Copeland, who placed fourth in the Under 20 men’s 100m final in 10.81 and Jeff Cunningham clocked 16:03.03 for 8th place in the senior men’s 5000m race. 

With the English Schools Championship coming soon in the early part of July, some newly announced additions to the London Schools team from Herne Hill in the latest wave of team selections include Alex Wilson, Solomon Thompson Moodley, Sheriff Silly, Orla Wright, Sophie Jack, Khalil Sesay and Mine Ebriku, with Zac Crowther a named reserve at this stage.

We so far have a total of 19 Herne Hill Harriers young athletes in this London team.

Geoff Jerwood