Last Saturday saw some more fabulous performances by Herne Hill Harriers young distance runners in the first Surrey League cross country fixtures of the 2016-17 season. The girls & ladies teams raced in Nonsuch Park, while the men and boys League races were in Richmond Park later the same afternoon.
At the girls match, Maisie Collis won the under 13 girls race with Eva Holland in fifth place as they led the under 13 girls team to a seven point win over Guildford & Godalming. The under 15 girls and under 17 women raced together, although the team and individual results are scored separately and featured a superb overall win for new Harriers girl Charlotte Alexander. Alexander is still in the under 15 girls age group, but beat all of the under 17s as well as the under 15s, winning by some 300m-400m for an emphatic victory.
With some regular girls missing Herne Hill still managed to finish second under 15 team eleven points behind Reigate, while the under 17 women packed fantastically well with Katie Balme, Zoe Tompkins, Tatiana Cooke and Jemima Hayward-Bhikha finishing fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth respectively among under 17s to give their team an eighteen point lead over Reigate.
In the boys races in Richmond Park Harriers’ under 13 boys did enough to lead the League in their age group after the first race. Jaden Kennedy won the under 13 Boys race and placed sixth overall in a combined race with under 15s and under 17s. The Harrision twins Jacob and Ben were third and fifth under 13 boys and the scoring team was closed by Christo Chilton who placed ninth under 13. In the under 17 men’s race Laurie Pope had a very good run finishing fifth overall to lead the combined under 15 and under 17 team to third place.
Herne Hill’s senior men and ladies teams both placed fifth in Division 1 of their respective opening races, a feature of both being good turnouts in terms of overall numbers and although no individual placed in the top ten in either race the team packing ensured very solid results to kick off the season. The men were led by Richard Henderson placing seventeenth in a quality field of over 200, closely followed by Mike Cummings in nineteenth and a returning Chris Busaileh in twenty second.
The ladies team benefitted from Ella Newton, still an under 17 opting to compete in the senior race as she led her team in twelfth place among the Division 1 runners. Annes Stevens ran well to place twenty first, followed by four Herne Hill ladies racing each other closely, as Natasha Lodge, Gen Huss, Sue Swaine and Olivia Zeltner placed thirty second, thirty ninth, forty first and forty second respectively. Elsewhere at the Metropolitan League races at Woodford Stacey Ward placed a close fourth only twelve seconds behind the winner as she represented her second claim club Hillingdon.