Please scroll down for photos…
Herne Hill Harriers youngsters continued their outstanding form this winter by achieving their best ever performances at a National cross country championship when they returned from the National cross country relays at Mansfield with two team gold medals, a team bronze and four top ten finishes including a fourth place.
The U13 and U15 girls teams have both won gold medals before but never both in the same championship. In the Under 13 girls Jessica Tabraham ran superbly on first leg to set the team up handing over in sixth place to Lulu King who returned back to form by chasing the leaders and closing the gap on leg two in second place, Maisie Collis stormed into the lead being chased by her old rival from Blackheath and Bromley but then ran a superbly controlled race by maintaining her lead and then kicking hard with 400m metres to go to stretch the lead to seven seconds at the finish. Our B team were ninth and C team were 26th.
In the Under 15 girls Eimear Griffin finished a close up second and with Lucy Olsen & Alex Brown to follow we were in a strong position, however Liverpool Harriers were confident they had a strong team and they chased Lucy throughout the second leg but Lucy finished strongly to hand over to Alex with a twenty metre lead which Alex extended to 70 metres at the finish. Alex has been in all our recent national title winning teams. Our B team finished tenth for another top ten finish and our C team were 27th.
Our Under 13 boys have been consistent all winter and were rewarded with battling bronze medals in an exciitng race. Jacob Solon started prominently and finished first leg in 25th place but crucially only 150 metres down on the lead. It was all change on leg two as Jaden Kennedy swept through the field upto second place and with gaps emerging we had a medal chance. Jacob Harrison had run gallently all winter and held his position despite being chased by several strong teams on third leg into the finishing straight Jacob was being clsoed down by Natioanl road relay champions Keighley for third place and the Keighley athlete put in a tremendous burst with 50 metres to go but as they flashed through the line together Jacob had just held on for third place. Our B team were sixteenth.
Our Under 17 women ran superbly for fourth place in a high quality race, Ella Newton ran well for 13th on first leg which Zoe Tompkins consolidated finishing in sizth place and then Kate Brown ran a great final leg for fourth place. Showing the depth we have in this agegroup our B & C teams were 23rd & 39th.
Our Under 15 boys were second after Mohamed Mohamud’s opening leg and Oscar Millard kept us close to the pace finishing in sixth place on second leg and as the big guns took over Mohamed Ali held onto a top ten position with ninth place. Our B team were 66th. A weakened U17 mens team battled well for 57th place
We were one of a small number of clubs who won medals in different agegroups and confirmed out status as one of the top young athletes distance clubs in the country to give coach James McDonald a huge fillip as he starts his treatment for a serious illness
[slickr-flickr items=”50″ tag=”Mansfield_National_XC_Relays” type=”slideshow” size =”original” start=”random” id=”28245615@N00″]