Strong Surrey County medals haul for Herne Hill athletes

Poppy Craig-McFeely strides out to Under 20 victory

The new year was kicked off with a good turnout of Herne Hill Harriers athletes through all of the age groups who braved the very windy and wet weather and the plentiful mud under foot at the Surrey County Cross Country Championships in Lloyd Park on Saturday.

The stars of the day were individual champions Poppy Craig McFeely, who raced out to a clear victory in the Under 20 women’s race and Caspian Holmes who was equally dominant ahead of his nearest challenger in the Under 13 boys race.

Cambridge University fresher Craig-McFeely was followed in by a superb bronze medal run for Kaitlin Hewitt and these athletes were well backed up by U17 women’s fifth placer Vivi Marshall enabling them to win gold in the combined U17/U20W team awards.

Harriers also won individual and team gold in the U13B, where Holmes led a quartet which also comprised James Clement-Nash fourth, Thomas Clerkin fifth and Lucas Heath seventh.
There was an individual silver medal for Orla Carroll, who led her team to gold in the U15 girls race with Sophie Jack fifth, Orla Wright 11th and Maeve Minielly 12th.

The under 17 men’s team won bronze courtesy of Alex Jack ninth, Harry Bell 12th, Fabien Whitelock 14th and Sam Maloney 23rd.

The Herne Hill senior women competed the medals haul for the day as they continued their strong form with excellent team packing from Gaby Reynolds 13th, Jenny Nandi 17th, Grace Leyland 20th and Julia Wedmore 20th for a set of hard fought team bronze medals. 

Karen Ellison was only a few seconds behind Wedmore in 22nd, with further fine support from Charlotte Kenyon 39th, Megan Glidea 45th, Hannah Edwards 60th, Patty Gnaoto 84th, Jess Winfield 91st, Alison Beck 95th and Sarah Allen 111th.

The senior men mustered 11 runners for their first team race of the new year and were led by a very good run for John Franklin in 15th place in a strong field. James Brown 66th, John Foxall 68th, Scott Morrison 76th, Tom Irish 78th and M55 Jonathan Ratcliffe 85th completed the scoring team of six runners in ninth place. 
The remaining mud larks were Jon Key 92nd, Trevor Chilton 106th Pedro Henrique Pinto 107th, Muhamud Haile 121st and M65 Waldy Pauzers 175th.

In other county championship results Simon Coombes was seventh and first 7th M50 in Bedfordshire, Joe Fenwick was 24th in Hampshire and Greg Mills 28th in Nottinghamshire.

On Sunday morning the following day, Gaby Reynolds was the the female winner (and first W40) at the Tadworth 10 miles race in 65:36.

At the BMC Sheffield Indoor Grand Prix on Sunday, where world 1500m champion Jake Wightman was competing, Annabel Hobday and Mike Cummings both had good runs to open their indoor accounts for the year. Hobday clocked 4:39.61 for 1500m and M35 Cummings ran 8:49.89 for 3000m.

Geoff Jerwood