Herne Hill Harriers track and field teams had a busy weekend of team action, first of all seniors at. Eastbourne on Saturday in the Southern Athletics League, where our combined men’s and women’s team secured a hard fought second place to remain in contention with the league’s leading clubs. This was followed on Sunday with our young athletes at Hornchurch Stadium competing in a Youth Development League fixture from which the provisional results indicate a very close second, 508 points, just 0.5 points ahead of Croydon and 7 behind the host club. This result closes the gap on the City of Portsmouth, who lead the overall table.
Both matches, but Hornchurch in particular featured some outstanding performances by the Herne Hill athletes across the full range of running, jumping and throwing disciplines. Ore Adamson, who heads the UK rankings for her age group with an earlier mark this season, set a league record in the U15 girls long jump with a leap of 5.53m.
Among the U13 boys the best performance came from Jaden Kennedy, whose storming 2.09.5 for 800m front running from the gun massively revised his PB, broke his own Harriers club record and set what appears to be a new league record too. Jaden’s time is also a UK lead for his age group, re-establishing him at the top of this event. Not to be outdone, his U13 girls counterpart and training partner in James McDonald’s group, Maisie Collis ran superbly to record a huge victory in the 1200m with 3.46.9. This was also a club record, UK lead time, and probably a Surrey county record with another stunning piece of typical front running.
In the U15 boys group Tiarnan Matthews secured very good points in the discus, hammer and shot with PBs in the first two of these three events, and was well backed up by Andre Parker who won the B string discus with a PB throw. Not for the first time, the U15 boys middle distance runners returned good points, with the highlight being Oscar Millard’s big 800m PB of 2.06.8.
At Eastbourne the standout performances of the match were contributed by Harriers athletes. In the women’s events Australian runner Chloe Tighe demonstrated what an asset she is likely to be to our teams with her own very impressive and completely solo front running display as she won the 3000m in a fast time of 9.31.2. This has only ever been bettered by one of her club mates in the forty years of Herne Hill Harriers female athletes and the manner of her victory suggests some more exciting performances to come this season.
On the men’s side the welcome return of Jonathan Grant from competing in US collegiate athletics saw a clear win for him in both the 100m (10.7) and long jump (7.06m with a marginal foul on his first jump that looked much longer. Grant will be among Harriers athletes who will compete at this coming weekend’s British Championship Olympic Trials meeting in Birmingham.
Finally, but most certainly not least, competing at the England U20 Championship at Bedford on Saturday Michella Obijiaku placed a good fourth in the women’s shot with a throw of 13.69m to add 10cm to her PB from a month earlier.