Super Club record for Charlotte while the going gets tough for Herne Hill National League senior teams

Last week’s middle distance midweek track results for Herne Hill Harriers athletes featured two of the fastest all time performances by female members and with both still being in the Under 17 Women’s age group this should bode well for the coming years, not to mention the rest of this season!

15 year old Charlotte Alexander, coached by Wayne Vinton, smashed the club U17W and U20W records for 3000m at last Wednesday’s Watford open meeting with 9.31.12, a time that has only so far been beaten by Harriers senior international women Stacey Ward on the track and Katie Snowden on the road in the history of the club.

Meanwhile on the same evening at the Brighton BMC races 16 year old Alex Brown was very close to her own U17W 1500m club record with her 4.30.94 clocking, a time that only Brown and Snowden had bettered among Herne Hill females, although Brown was leapfrogged in Harriers’ all time women’s 1500m list come the weekend…

Also at Watford, Herne Hill veteran athlete Simon Coombes “enjoyed” a titanic 1500m battle with international Steph Twell among others, losing out on the final run in, but clocking his fastest ever M40 time for the distance of 4.08.26. Andrew Warburton ran in a different 1500m race at Watford, recording 4.11.21 and with a few more race pace sessions and races should certainly break 4.10 and move towards breaking 4 minutes.

From a club team perspective the news was not so good at our second British Athletics League match at Yate last Saturday. As with the first fixture the scores were very close, this time there was less than 25 points separating first from sixth of the eight teams. Unfortunately, unlike in the opening fixture when Herne Hill had placed second, this time the team ended up sixth in the final result, frustratingly just a couple of good events away from a possible victory.

Harriers enjoyed some good individual performances with Thomas Ashby competing in seven events and scoring a total of 65 points for the team and despite no individual wins on the day there were several second place performances. Long jumpers Seb Wilson Dyer Gough and Ashby were both second, A and B respectively, while Eric Sapac and Mike Cummings recorded a similar double in the 800m. Tobi Adeyemi was second in the B 400m, Abel Tadesse likewise in the B 1500m, Michael Wheeler in the A shot put and Stuart Thurgood was only 12cm shy of his own HHH club M40 hammer record with 51.84m to place second in his A string event. We also welcomed under 17 discus man Alfred Mawdsley to our team, very good to see him scoring second place B string points with a PB with the senior implement.

Some other team members went beyond their main events. Tony Macdowall filled in at pole vault, 400m hurdles and 110m hurdles in addition to his steeplechase third place B string run, while our A string steeplechaser Jeff Cunningham warmed up with a run round the 400m hurdles and warmed down with a triple jump. 800m runner Eric Sapac supplemented his training by filling the B 200m and running a leg in both relays. With no specialist sprinters present on the day, Harriers quartet for both relays was 800 runner Sapac plus three very good 400m men, and the combination of Adeyemi, Sapac, Peter Phillips and Nicholas Atwell put up a great battle in placing a close 3rd in the 4 x 400m relay to finish off the match well.

Herne Hill ladies travelled to Rugby on Sunday and again the overall match result was a product of some empty and weaker events, but the presence of a Glasgow track team full of Scottish internationals and a strong Sheffield field events team meant this was always going to be a challenge. The meeting brought out some great performances from Herne Hill. Denisha Marshall-Brown was the only A string winner in the team, claiming maximum points in both discus 35.59m and shot 11.43m, with Hazel Robertson winning the B discus throwing 31.04m.

Although Herne Hill had no race wins on the track there were PBs for Natasha Lodge (10.31.83 3000m), Zoe Tompkins (60.86 400m) and Katie Kedward (62.87 400m), plus season’s bests for Helena Corbin (2.14.90 800m), Chloe Tighe (4.24.76 1500m) and Julia Wedmore (11.02.83 3000m). Fiona de Mauny faced top Scot Philippa Millage and ran a solo 2.16.30 in her wake. The race of the day was a very high quality 1500m for a league race. Scotland 800m international Mhairi Hendry won in 4.20, Anna Tait, another top Glasgow lady ran 4.21 and Harriers’ Australian star Tighe placed a good third in 4.24 (2nd A string), a time which no other Herne Hill woman apart from Snowden has ever run, surpassing Brown’s fine time the previous Wednesday. Ella Newton was also in this race, the day after running a PB 800m of 2.15.19 at the Milton Keynes BMC meeting and ran as sensibly as possible when the leaders were running 2.16 at 800 and her 4.43.49 for 4th overall in the race (2nd B string) well ahead of the next runner demonstrated maturity beyond her years. Herne Hill’s middle distance squad filled the 4 x 400m relay and put together good splits with de Mauny 60.7, Kedward 62.7, Tompkins 60.2 and Corbin 60.3, placing behind the Scots and epitomising the team spirit that will be needed in Glasgow next month for the final national league match of the women’s season.