Snowden and Anderson battle in major champs finals 

Herne Hill Harriers women’s club record holders Katie Snowden and Phoebe Anderson both raced in major championship finals over the weekend and while both found the going tough and neither will be overly happy with their results, they continue to perform at the highest levels. 

Snowden represented the Great Britain & Northern Ireland team in the women’s 1500m at the European Athletics Championship in Rome and confirmed her status as one of the highest ranked in the continent. On Friday morning she placed a close third in her heat in 4:12.17 to qualify for Sunday evening’s final along with her two British team mates. 

The final was a similar affair with a slow first two laps followed by a progressively quicker wind up in the final 600m. However, unlike in her heat, Snowden was this time unable to live with the rapid final lap and finished ninth of the thirteen finalists. 

Her time of 4:06.83 was an indication of the relatively slow nature of the race, being some ten seconds outside the English women’s record she set at the World Championships last year in Budapest. Her immediate aim should now be to rebuild in preparation for the UK Championship and Olympic trials meeting at the end of this month in Manchester.

Anderson is Harriers’ fastest woman over 5000m on the track and has enjoyed a stellar US collegiate season which has seen her set new club records, win an Ivy League title and qualify for the NCAA Finals in Eugene, Oregon. 

Here in the women’s 5000m final she had high hopes of another PB and record, but it wasn’t to be on this occasion as she finished 19th in a very strong field with 16:04.28. Although more than half a minute outside her best, this is still nevertheless a track time which only she and Kiwi international Georgie Grgec have ever bettered among Herne Hill females. 

Anderson is also scheduled to compete next at the UK Championship over the last weekend in June.

A number of outstanding performances were produced by young athletes from the club at the London Schools Championship in Battersea Park on Saturday and at the South of England Championship at Eton on both weekend days. 

There was win at Battersea in the Intermediate Boys 1500m for Caspian Holmes in 4:11.2, a time which is only the tiniest fraction outside the club under 17 men’s record of 4:11.18 held by Keeran Sriskandarajah. 

The pick of the known performances at Eton was a superb win in the under 20 men’s 800m for Sam Moloney in 1:54.96. The fearlessness of this run is illustrated by the fact that Moloney lowered his previous PB here by almost four seconds. This is huge progress over a relatively short race distance and it will be both intriguing and exciting to see how much faster he can go this summer.

Geoff Jerwood