Top performances as Herne Hill host Surrey League on Mitcham Common

Herne Hill Harriers played host to the second Surrey League cross country fixture on Mitcham Common on Saturday., with 48 men and 26 women all donning the red and black hoops and produced strong senior team turnouts and good results. A rare sunny day saw 237 finishers in the senior women’s 5.8km race in the morning and 327 in the men’s 8.5km race that closed proceedings mid afternoon.

The women’s A team again placed third, led by Grace Leyland in 13th and followed in by Jenny Nandi 19th, Sophie Tooley 21st, W40 Leonie Biemolt 23rd in her league debut and U20 Kaitlin Hewitt 33rd, the latter scoring in the A team for the first time. 

The B team placed seventh overall and second among the B teams courtesy of Annie Dalton 35th, Sarah Grover 39th, Shannon Sinclair 45th, Lily Newton 46th and W40 Karen Ellison 52nd.

The men performed well in the strongest league in the country, with the A team finishing a close fifth and then having the fourth B team. 

The A team comprised Brandon Dewar 15th, Andrew Clarke 27th, Daniel Shaw 31st, Lewis Laylee 33rd, Ben Warren 37th, Jack Brotchie 44th, Thomas Patterson 53rd in his league debut, David Moyse 55th Tom O’Mahoney 76th, with Simon Coombes closing the ten man team in 82nd. O’Mahoney, in his first race for the club, was second U20 and Coombes second M50 on the day.

The B team was Joe Fenwick 88th, John Franklin 89th, Jeff Cunningham 96th, Alex Lee 102nd, Joe Elliott 103rd, Ronan Tanguy 108th, James Nutt 116th, Ben Millar 138th, another debutant Matt Raymond 140th and Scott Morrison 146th.

At the British and Irish Masters home international croos country meet in Glasgow Nikki Sturzaker and Ben Paviour both represented England in their age categories and both raced well despite recent illnesses. 

Sturzaker was still recovering from Covid, but claimed W50 individual bronze and team gold medals, albeit she had beaten the individual gold medalist in the England trials race. Paviuor had also had a cold/flu virus earlier in the month, but was able to replicate his best position of fourth place in the M50 event and was one of the team silver medallists.

Across the pond in New York Phoebe Anderson ran superbly to finish third in the women’s 6km race at the NCAA Division Northeast Region Cross Country Championship. This is a big result for Harriers’ club women’s 5000m record holder and takes her on to the national final later this week. In the South Central Region in Fayetteville Annabel Hobday placed 82nd in her championship race. 

Back at Mitcham the Herne Hill young athletes representation was depleted by a clash with some English Schools Cup fixtures on the same day. The under 17 women’s team placed fifth with twins Eva O’Hanlon 13th and Grace O’Hanlon 20th, then Vivi Marshall 24th and Martha Brennan 28th.

The under 13 boys and the combined under 15 boys and under 17 men’s teams both placed eighth. Luca Boulton, whose mother Leonie had earlier run very well in the women’s race, led the U13s in fourth place, the other team scorers being Alfie Beasley Suffolk in 35th, Dominic Brennan in 56th and Caeden Mulimba 60th. 

The under 15 and under 17 men’s team was completed by Tommy Clerkin 11th overall and third under 15, Leau Roch 22nd, Noah Turner 59th and Herbert Clark 68th.

Orla Wright in seventh place was Harriers only under 15 girl racing at Mitcham, whilst Marnie Millar 18th and under 11 Olivia Fisher 23rd were the sole representatives from the home club in the under 13 girls race.

The club thanks all of the volunteers from our own ranks, from co-hosts Clapham Chasers and from elsewhere in Surrey who combined to ensure that this fixture was a success.

Geoff Jerwood