Surrey Track & Field Medals Galore for Herne Hill and an upcoming GB international debut for Brown

The weekend saw the Surrey county track and field championship at Kingsmeadow stadium with four seasons of weather in one day on Saturday and then bright warm sunshine throughout Sunday. Herne Hill Harriers athletes across all the age groups from under 13 to seniors amassed a total medals tally of 41. These comprised 15 gold, 13 silver, 13 bronze, with 25 on the track and 16 in field events. Of the medals 18 were won by male club athletes and 23 by females to mark a successful couple of days of competition.

One of the highest quality track races of the weekend witnessed a Herne Hill 1-2 and a great championship best performance from winner Alexandra Brown in the under 20 women’s 1500m as her time of 4.28.55 eclipsed a strong record set by Aldershot’s Georgia Peel that had hitherto stood the test of a good few years. Second placed Charlotte Alexander cut out a very good pace for 3 laps and her 4.35.72 silver medal run was also close to the old standard and a good track season opener after a superb winter.

Since her very impressive win on Sunday Brown has been selected to run for the Great Britain Juniors (Under 20) team in the 1500m at the prestigious Loughborough International meet this coming Sunday, which will be her GB debut, having raced for the England Schools team in past years.

The under 13 boys 800m featured another gold and silver double for the red and black vests as the James McDonald coached Joshua Lee Baum took the win ahead of team mate Keeran Sriskandarajah as both young athletes recorded big PBs of 2.15.88 and 2.16.52 respectively.

Memphis Ayoade became Herne Hill’s only double champion of the weekend as he was victorious in both the under 17 men’s 200m and 400m. Over 200m Ayoade gained a new PB of 22.57 and he then won the 400m by the narrowest margin of one hundredth of a second with a fine time of 50.27.

36 year old Fiona de Mauny won a full set of senior women’s gold (3000m) silver (1500m) & bronze (800m) medals. Her times were 2.17.20 for the 800m, 4.44.46 for 1500m and 10.27.38 for 3000m, with club mate Julia Wedmore claiming silver in the last of those events. Eleanor Smith-Hahn also won a senior women’s silver in the 100m with 12.59 and Esther Fuja won senior women’s 200m bronze with her 25.98.

In the senior men’s events Byron Robinson won gold in the 200m with 22.05 on Saturday and then followed up with 100m bronze on Sunday clocking 10.89. The other senior gold medallist of the weekend from the club was Rushane Thomas with 14.51 in a very well contested 110m hurdles race.

There were two more Herne Hill athletes who, like Robinson, took home both gold and bronze medals. Ore Adamson won the under 20 women’s long jump with 5.84m and was third in the 100m in 12.74, while Eve Hepworth won the under 15 girls discus with 26.74m and placed third in the shot with 9.95m.

More medals were picked up by under 20 women, as Phoebe Anderson won the 3000m in 10.09.71 and Annabel Hobday took silver in the 400m in 60.92 after placing fourth in the 800m the day before, as both of these Wayne Vinton athletes ran PB times. The under 17 women’s 1500m final featured two more who are coached by of Vinton as Poppy Craig-McFeely and long-time race leader Maisie Collis were involved in a close finish in which Craig-McFeely came second in 4.48.82 and Collis third in 4.49.85.

Herne Hill’s other older male medals came in the field events, with a silver for Tiarnan Matthews in the under 20 men’s shot put with 13.28m, while in the under 17 men’s events Mackenzie Laban threw 42.79m for silver in the hammer and 33.13m for bronze in the discus. Also among U17 men, Kai Broadbent and Ignatius Abebrese both came second in their respective events, the shot with 12.37m and the long jump with 5.76m.

Alie Sesay was Harriers’ only under 15 boys gold medallist as he won with the shot with 12.48m, while in the javelin Dominik Krammer was second and Andrew Barrett third with throws of 24.85m and 22.33m. There were more rich pickings in the shot put events as Je’nae James claimed the under 17 women’s gold medal with 12.65m, while in the same age group Mabel Smith was a very clear winner of the high jump with 1.69m and Emily Callaghan placed third in the javelin with 35.31m.

In the youngest age groups, James Brookes won the under 13 boys high jump with a clearance of 1.35m and Alexander Abebrese was yet another shot put winner with his 11.42m. Young Lily Rose Brown lost out on gold by the narrowest margin as her PB of 2.22.78 in a very exciting race left her with the silver medal in the under 13 girls 800m. Zachary Crowther won bronze in the under 15 boys 800m final with 2.08.48, while Phoebe Bowen placed third in the under 13 girls 1500m in 4.49.94 and Saskia King was third in the 100m in this age group with 12.75.

There were no Herne Hill athletes were among the medals in the senior men’s 5000m race which attracted a big field of 21 runners, however the Harriers representation was encouraging and saw Alex Hobley finish 10th in 15.51.60, Bryn Reynolds 13th in 16.10.46, Andrew Grigg 19th in 16.35.82, Robin Jones 20th in 16.37.37 and Eriç Dol 21st in 17.57.84.

In other county championships, Lily Newton won an excellent silver medal in the under 20 women’s 1500m steeplechase at the Kent championship at Ashford in a time of 5.22.32. This is a PB by six seconds and edges her closer to the qualifying time needed for the English Schools championship later this season.

In Saturday’s parkruns, Stacey Ward was in the top ten female times of the day in the UK with her clocking of 17.30 for second place overall at the venue behind one male runner as she recovers from her recent London Marathon efforts. The Herne Hill women’s team placed fourth overall in the national championship as part of the London race and one of Ward’s team mate heroes Olivia Zeltner was first woman parkrunner on Tooting Common in 19.42 and Monika Gajek was first female at Swansea Bay in 19.54.

Nick Bester has recovered from his marathon as he won in Dulwich Park with 15.53, while Simon Coombes won at Dunstable Downs in 17.31 and Josh Pewter won in Queen Elizabeth Park in 17.42. Although not among the race winners, Matt Cartwright ran a good PB in placing 3rd in Burgess Park with 17.18.

Geoff Jerwood