The final track and field weekend of July saw the CAU UK Inter Counties and England Senior Championship at Bedford International Athletics Stadium and the Derek Crookes Southern Under 13 Inter County Match at Kingsmeadow Stadium. Both meetings yielded performances from Herne Hill Harriers athletes of national prominence as Gavin Johnson-Assoon and Stacey Ward claimed medals at Bedford, where Brianna Mulvee set a new club senior race walk record, while at Kingsmeadow Jaden Kennedy continued his amazing record breaking season and Maisie Collis missed emulating him by a narrow margin.
England international javelin thrower Johnson-Assoon tends to produce his best at the England Championships, having last year taken home the gold medal, and while this year his medal haul was an Inter Counties silver and an England bronze the standard was such that he had to produce the three furthest throws of his life so far to secure a place on the podium. An opening throw of 69.02m set out his stall with a PB, then in rounds four and six his javelin flew even further, his best of 69.36m being his fourth, while his final throw was only 5cm shy for a superb series.
Ward, also an England international when representing at the Cardiff Half Marathon earlier this year bounced back in style from what had hitherto been a disappointing track season for her by winning 5000m bronze medals for both of the two championship races held in conjunction. Keeping in the leading group as it gradually whittled down to four during the first 3000m, Ward’s efforts to try to match the two leaders when they made their move were good enough to take her to a clear third place at the finish and a time of 16.28.27 was only eight seconds outside her best despite the almost obligatory Bedford wind blowing during her race.
Jaden Kennedy improves with every race and with every improvement comes a new Harriers club under 13 boys record. His latest exploit was a solo 800m win by a huge margin at a high quality age group Southern Inter Counties match. His latest PB of 2.09.00 puts further daylight between Kennedy and the second fastest in the UK age rankings as he currently sits proudly at the top for both 800m and 1500m. This time was also a championship best performance beating a good mark that had stood since 2012.
Kennedy’s team mate Maisie Collis is also in the top three among under 13 girl 1500m runners and although beaten on this occasion by one ranked above her was only a few tenths outside her own club record in clocking 4.48.98.
Back at Bedford another Harriers record fell as Brianna Mulvee smashed her own club senior women’s 3000m walk record with a time of 14.12.01, placing sixth in her event at the England Senior Champs. Nicholas Atwell and Peter Phillips placed fourth and seventh respectively in the men’s 400m final at the end of a busy weekend during which both athletes contested the 400m heats and semi-final on Saturday and then 200m heats on Sunday, with Atwell also racing the 200m semi-final before their 400m final later that day. Atwell clocked 48.16 in both his semi and final, while Phillips ran 48.30 in his semi-final. In the same men’s javelin competition as Johnson-Assoon, Allandre Johnson placed eighth with a season’s best throw of 58.00m, while Steph Mitchell was ninth in the women’s 800m final.