Strong Herne Hill senior showing and young athletes wins in Surrey League

Both of Herne Hill Harriers men’s and women’s A teams placed fourth in Saturday’s Surrey League cross country races with the women recording a B team win and the men’s B team placing sixth on the day. After two of the four races in the league season the men are fourth and women seventh among A teams, with the scores still close enough for both teams to improve positions when these fixtures resume in the new year.

Herne Hill young athletes performed well as ever, with team wins for the combined under 17 men/under 15 boys, plus the under 13 and under 15 girls. Individual wins were recorded by Jaden Kennedy, fourth overall in the combined male race of all young athletes age groups, but was first under 15, while Eva Holland won the under 15 girls race ahead of the under 17 women’s winner in their combined age group race. Lewis Lloyd, who represented Great Britain at under 20 level in the World Cross Country Championship in 2013 showed a welcome return to form placing second in the senior men’s race only five seconds behind senior international Nick Goolab and ahead of a host of other runners who are highly ranked nationally.

At the female races in Nonsuch Park Chloe Tighe led the Herne Hill women placing sixth of the Division 1 runners to underline her immense contribution to Harriers’ teams during her time living in London. Karen Ellison was next placing twenty-fifth, then Fiona de Mauny thirty-first, with under 20 Tatianna Cooke making a good senior debut in this league in thirty-fifth and then a string of Herne Hill women battling to be the final A teamn scorer. Shannon Sinclair prevailed by just two seconds in forty-third, one place ahead of Stacy Wheat, Helen Hadjam was forty-sixth, Steph Mitchell fiftieth, Katie Kedward fifty-second and then the winning B team was closed by another under 20 Ella Newton, usually much further up the field, but was running unwell as she did not want to let her team mates down on the day and finished gamely in seventy-fourth place in a field that featured a record number of runners.

Herne Hill men also placed fourth A team both on the day on Mitcham Common and in the cumulative standings, led Lloyd’s superb run placing second of the 250 finishers. Second claim Ryan Burling made a cracking debut in the red and black colours, tenth place in a high quality field that saw Chris Busaileh and Richard Henderson as next men in twenty-third and thirty-third respectively. Simon Coombes was the first M45 in thirty-eighth, Alan Barnes was forty-first, Carl Delaney fifty-sixth, Andrew Warburton sixty-first before a great race between Jack Hillier in eighty-first and Alex Hobley eighty-fourth to fill the ninth and tenth places in the Herne Hill A team. Harriers turned out thirty finishers at Mitcham, but surprisingly the B team only placed sixth on the day as the bumper turnout from almost all of the Division 1 clubs made the race extremely competitive from front to back.

Eva Holland was a clear winner of the under 15 girls race as she beat the under 17 women who ran in the same race. With Maisie Collis placing third among under 15s, Anna Duffy-Markovich fifth and Rosie Hammond thirteenth Herne Hill were comfortably first team in this age group and also had the winning B team.

The Herne Hill under 13 girls were also the best in their race with Johanna Nicholson placing third, Lois Levy sixth, Hebe Hunter fourteenth and Zoe Cruywagen thirty-sixth. The Herne Hill young athlete teams were missing the services of some runners who were racing for their school teams at the English Schools Cup races at St Albans, where Phoebe Bowen was an excellent winner of the under 13 girls race, with Stella Thomas sixth and Ella Rees eighth.

Jaden Kennedy led the under 15 boys and under 17 men’s combined team to a win, his fourth overall and first under 15 backed up by Charlie Krammer sixth (third under 15), under 17 Oscar Millard eighth and another under 15 Jacob Harrison sixteenth overall to provide another show of all round Herne Hill club team strength.

Geoff Jerwood