Southern Championship Best Performance for Eliza Nicholson at Walton

Eliza Nicholson set a new championship best performance time in the U17 women’s 3,000m at the recent South of England Senior and U20 Championships at Walton, writes Geoff Jerwood.

The 16-year-old’s winning time of 9:30.05 was also a Herne Hill Harriers’ club record for her age group at the distance and a qualifying time for the Commonwealth Youth Games, should she be able to go on to gain selection for the Great Britain U8 team for the August event in Trinidad.

Nicholson followed this up on Saturday with another meeting record, this time in the intermediate girls’ 1,500m at the London Schools Championships in Battersea Park.

Next up Eliza will be racing in the England U20 Championships 3,000m at Chelmsford on Sunday 18th June.

Katie Snowden followed her recent big 1,500m PB with 800m success at the Copenhagen Athletics Games.

With a winning margin of almost three seconds, Snowden’s time was the second fastest of her career (2:00.43) to move to fifth in the current UK women’s 800m rankings.

Long jumper Ore Adamson competed in the prestigious NCAA national final in Austin, Texas. The 2023 C-USA Indoor gold medalist, she had achieved a 15th place showing in the long jump at the NCAA Indoor in March.

Hopes were high after Adamson had secured her spot at the outdoor national meet, courtesy of a top-12 finish in the long jump at the regionals with a career best mark of 6.29m. She was slightly disappointed to place 11th in Austin with a best of 5.87m against a -1.1m per second headwind.

Saskia Millard returned to racing after a medical student placement in Zanzibar to only narrowly miss her 1,500m PB by tenths of a second at the Birmingham University BMC Gold Standard races.  Her time of 4:22.03 sealed fifth place in the women’s A race.

Hercules Wimbledon 3,000m Festival Night saw two wins for Harriers athletes.

In the opening U15 race Thomas Clerkin took the win in a PB of 9:58.18. Andrew Clarke had a good win, also in a PB of 8:51.66, in the fourth race.

In later races the silver went to Brandon Dewar in 8:38.02 and then gold to Lewis Laylee in 8:34.22. Sarah Grover took the women’s club title with 10:06.12, while U20 Harry Bell ran his first sub nine minutes time as he placed second in the fifth race with 8:55.75.

Herne Hill’s senior men and women were in action at their first National Athletics League match of the season in sweltering weather at the Bedford International Athletics Stadium on Sunday.

Sam Bramwell was as hot as the weather as he romped home to a clear win of around 11 seconds in the men’s A 3,000m (8:37.08). This was the 23-year-old’s first track race at this distance since his school days.

There were also excellent A string wins at Bedford for Myles Copeland-Naulty in the men’s 200m with 21.72 and Harriers’ one field event win came from Zara Acton (38.96m) in the women’s discus.

Three U17 athletes had competed at their county schools championships the day before and two made impressive senior debuts. Lucy Wright won the women’s B 400m with a PB of 58.25 – straight after a superb PB for Fred Hake, who placed second in the men’s A string 400m, clocking 49.81. His first sub-50 seconds lap of a track followed up his Surrey Schools 400m intermediate boys gold medal the day before.

U17 Keeran Sriskandarajah’s finished third in the senior men’s A 800m in 1:55.18.

Ignatius Abebrese was third in the A long jump and second in the A triple jump with 6.72m and 14.47m. U20 Dante Clarke was second in the B long jump (6.25m). Aaron Brown was second in the B triple (12.73m).

Niyah Costley and Saskia King were both second in the A and B women’s 100m races, clocking 12.19 and 12.25 respectively.

Eric Dol placed 213th of around 15,000 finishers at the historic Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa. His time for the hilly route of almost 55 miles was 6:43.03.

Geoff Jerwood