Herne Hill Harriers young sprint star Lakeisha Owusu–Junior followed in the very rapid footsteps of her older training mate and club record holder Kristal Awuah as she claimed a gold medal and personal best of her own in winning the South of England Championship under 20 women’s 100m final at Bedford on Sunday.
Owusu-Junior eased up before the line in placing second in her heat to qualify for the final, but made no mistakes later in the afternoon as she won the title with a strong run to record a good PB of 11.78 seconds running into a headwind of -0.9 metres per second. Like British senior international Awuah, Owusu-Junior is benefitting from excellent coaching from Matthew Thomas and has so far represented England under 20s indoors this year and now looks towards further breakthroughs as the outdoor season unfolds.
Currently ranked fourth in the UK under 20 list, she would need to run a time of 11.60 for a European under 20 championship qualifying time.
Harriers had two other medallists in the Senior and Under 20 championships over the weekend, the other two who secured podium positions both being in the senior men’s category. Seb Wilson Dyer Gough won a silver medal in the long jump with 6.98m in one of the first events on Saturday morning and then RushaneThomas rounded off the proceedings with a bronze medal in the 110m hurdles final in a swift PB time of 14.25 in the very last event on Sunday. Thomas had earlier equalled his previous PB of 14.27 in placing second in his heat.
Other finalists at Bedford were Ore Adamson, fourth in the under 20 women’s long jump with 5.87m, Helena Corbin sixth in the senior women’s 800m with 2.14.23, Esther Fuja seventh in the senior women’s 200m in 26.00 after a PB of 25.84 in her heat and David Ryan eighth in the under 20 men’s 400m in 49.85 after running 49.66 in qualifying.
At the Milton Keynes BMC meeting on Saturday Lily Newton produced another big PB for the 1500m steeplechase in winning the women’s B race. Her time of 5.16.20 was inside the English Schools qualifying time, putting her 8th on the current UK under 20 women’s rankings for 2019. This is the first time Newtonhas secured an ES time and she now hopes to be the fourth HHH athlete to represent London Schools in the last four years at this event.
Also taking place on Sunday was the Surrey Masters Championship at Kingsmeadow Stadium. Giuseppe Minetti was busy winning two gold medals and a bronze in the M50 100m, 200m and 400m. Michelle Watson claimed a double sprint gold at 100m and 200m in the W35 races, while M75 Allan Long won the M70 100m gold and was then second M75 in the 200m. Nikki Sturzaker was first W45 in both 800m and 1500m, while Victor Maughn claimed the M55 gold medal over 1500m in a race where Ian Strong won bronze in the same category.
In road racing Herne Hill were well represented in both the Serpentine Last Friday 5km in Hyde Park and the Dorking 10 miles road race on Sunday. On Friday Andrew Warburton placed 10th in 16.17, Alex Hobley was 23rd in 16.56, Richard Keeble 60th in 18.02, Fraser Hagell 72nd in 18.52 and Julia Wedmore was 2nd woman in 19.13.
At the Dorking race Hobley led the red and black charge with his clocking of 57.37 for 10th place, chased home by prolific super vet road racer Jonathan Ratcliffe who recorded 60.25 for 28th overall. M40 Gav Newsum ran a PB of 63.12 and Henry Brown was timed at 64.17 and another M40 James Ward 65.44, with Harriers women led home by triathlete Lara Langston in 71.42 with more following in as part of a strong team turnout on a warm morning.