On the continent in Belgium on Sunday, Phoebe Anderson made her England international debut racing in the Under 20 women’s race in Rotselaar. Competing in the prestigious Belgium Cross Cup event, Anderson placed an excellent third for a place on the rostrum, finishing only 9 seconds behind the race winner in her age category. This was a very fine start to her international racing experience and bodes well for the upcoming English National Cross Country Championship in Nottingham later this month.
At home, Herne Hill Harriers young athletes claimed two overall Surrey League team titles in the Surrey Cross Country League events on a Saturday afternoon which saw sunny weather conditions representing the calm before Storm Ciara the following day. The Ladies league was wrapped up in Richmond Park, where Harriers Under 13 girls team were winners both on the day and over the course of the four race league season, while in Lloyd Park the same feat was emulated by the Under 13 boys team.
The girls in Richmond were again in unstoppable form, with 11 year old Lily-Rose Brown winning the race for the third fixture in succession to also be crowned as the individual champion in her age group for the season. Eva O’Hanlon placed 5th, Vivi Marshall 7th and Anna Forster 9th to close in the winning A team, with Izzy Perry 10th, Rosalie Laban 11th, Grace O’Hanlon 12th and Anna Parocki 44th combining well in a B team who were 5th overall and first among the B teams. The Herne Hill B team were in fact 4th in the league over the season, ahead of most A teams.
In Lloyd Park the Under 13 boys honours went to Herne Hill both on the day and overall. Oak Buchan led the team in 3rd, backed up strongly by Fabien Whitelock 4th, Keeran Sriskandarajah 6th and Josh Lee-Baum 7th to form the winning A team on the day. The boys also claimed their league champions mantle with team wins in three of the four races and Buchan was 3rd overall over the season, improving with every race.
The Under 15 boys and Under 17 men all race together, with Harriers team finishing 5th on the day and 4th in the overall league. Sam Camenzuli was 14th, Dylan Sweet 26th, Jacob Alley 36th and Alexander Spaul 40th in Saturday’s race. In Richmond the Under 15 girls placed 7th team both on the day and over the four races, with Phoebe Bowen again the star turn as she placed 2nd on the day to secure the overall individual league title in her age group following a couple of previous race wins. Clare Van Heel was 32nd, the only other Herne Hill Under 15 girl to race on Saturday.
In the senior races, the men in Lloyd Park turned our a large contingent of 30 runners which was impressive on the face of it, but were actually missing for good reasons 4 of the team scoring 10 from the previous fixture, so finishing 4th on the day to consolidate an overall 5th league position for the season was all the more commendable.
After athletes over the age of 35 had led both our women’s and men’s teams in the last race Arlo Ludewick followed Liv Stillman’s earlier example in women’s race in Richmond to be the second under 20 to lead a senior Harriers team on the day with an excellent 16th place in a strong field. Like Stillman he was the 1st U20 in his race on the day, but as with the women’s race was chased hard by the next team scorer as Carl Delaney ran a great race to finish 18th.
The rest of our A team packed very well, with Andrew Warburton 36th, Brandon Dewar 37th, Rich Henderson 40th, Jack Dickenson 44th, Jeff Cunningham 49th, Jack Brotchie 53rd, Simon Coombes 58th and Andrew Grigg 66th being our remaining scoring 10.
The B team, a second team of 10 have ended the season comfortably ahead of all other B teams in Division 1 apart from the all conquering Kent AC squad. Eoin Brady led the B men in 70th just ahead of Matt Munro 72nd, with Josh Pewter 82nd, Ant Buchan 86th, Matt Cartwright 90th, M50 Francis Marsh back home from Northern Ireland in 93rd, Mohammed Ismail 99th, Myles Preston 114th, Jon Key 118th and Gav Newsum closing our B team in 123rd for an emphatic 2nd place ahead of the other B teams apart from Kent.
The women’s team placed 6th both on the day and in the league, led home by Under 20 Liv Stillman, returning to racing for the first time since May of last year. Stillman ran brilliantly to finish 15th and first Under 20, followed closely by the ever improving Julia Wedmore in 17th. Sue Swaine placed 54th, Lara Langston 62nd and Karen Ellison 67th ti close the team on the day.
Leading individuals over the season from Herne Hill (over best 3 races for women and all 4 for almost all men’s age groups) included Jemima Hayward-Bhika 4th U20 woman, Fiona de Mauny 5th among those aged 35-49 and Jonathan Ratcliffe 3rd M50.