Keeran moves up to second in UK 800m rankings

English Schools gold medallist and England Under 15 boys silver medallist Keeran Sriskandarajah followed up his recent 400m PB of 53.20 seconds with an excellent new PB of 1:58.44 for 800m racing at the Blackheath & Bromley Open meeting in Norman Park on Friday evening.

This time elevates him to second place in the UK U15 boys 800m rankings for 2021 to date and sees him getting closer to a Herne Hill Harriers club age group record which dates back to 1973. 

There’s obviously something about athletes with the initials KS when they join up with coach James McDonald, as Sriskandarajah trains with the Harriers young athletes middle distance group in which recent Tokyo Olympic Games 1500m semi finalist Katie Snowden began her athletics journey fifteen years ago.

Two other U15 group members also raced at Bromley, Alex Wilson clocking 2:13.04, a PB by more than two seconds and his brother Warren running 2:17.50. Senior athlete Steph Mitchell also raced 800m and recorded a season’s best 2:25.58.

Saturday saw some very fast racing at Sutcliffe Park in the final BMC Grand Prix meeting of the season where two Olympians raced for the first time since Tokyo and Herne Hill’s Arlo Ludewick was inspired to improve his recent 800m PB by half a second with 1:53.18 placing second in the D race. Annabel Hobday also ran a PB of 2:13.70 ahead of Zoe Tompkins 2:17.90 in the women’s C 800m, while Mike Cummings was just outside four minutes with his season’s best 1500m of 4:00.50. 

The final Southern Athletics League fixture of the season took place in Battersea Park earlier in the afternoon. Harriers had more field event athletes competing than in the previous league matches this year, which made a big difference to the overall team performance and score being more competitive in third place, not far behind the match winners.

Women’s A string event winners for Herne Hill were Niyah Costley in the 100m and long jump, a returning Hannah Edwards in the 800m and new member Elspeth Jamieson was a good winner in the javelin. The 4 x 100m relay team of Jaydine Robinson, Tia Meghie, Lizlove Fenning and Saskia King were also clear winners. King was one of the B string winners, taking the 100m, with Robinson winning the B long jump and Phoebe Bowen the B 800m.

In the men’s events Isaac Ogunlade won the A string 400m hurdles and later placed second in the A 200m. Jack Dickenson front ran the final 4km of his winning 5000m race, with Jeff Cunningham second finisher and B string winner. Cunningham was then second in the 2000m steeplechase where Sam Knight made a welcome return, winning the B string.

Nathan Latigo won the A long jump and the 4 x 400m team of Sam Camenzuli, Ogunlade, Denzel Boye and Kehinde Adenuga claimed victory in the final event of the afternoon.

On Sunday Herne Hill U15 boys were winners of their Ebbisham League fixture at Carshalton and were team winners of all three matches in this league this season.

Herne Hill athletes were also in action at various parkruns around the country on Saturday morning, led by two outstanding female performances as Sophie Harris ran the fastest women’s time in the country this weekend of 16:45 in the Northampton parkrun and former Australia 1500m champion Chloe Tighe, while briefly back in England on school holiday from teaching in Dubai, ran 17:06 in Folkestone for the fourth fastest overall of the day as she returns from what was a very untimely injury for her earlier this year. 

Both women were outright winners of their events, finishing ahead of all of the men and both set women’s course records at their respective events. Harris took 30 seconds off the Northampton course best and Tighe was over 80 seconds quicker than the previous best time by a female runner around the Folkestone course.

Geoff Jerwood