Lewis heads for World Cross after breakthrough run at Inter Counties

Lewis Lloyd has become Herne Hill Harriers’ first representative at the World Cross Country Championships for 26 years after impressing selectors at a trial. The 18-year-old finished fourth in the U20 men’s 8km race at the Inter Counties cross country event at Birmingham’s Cofton Park, which was the trial for the world championships.

Lloyd’s run, a huge breakthrough by one of the club’s most talented young runners means he has won a highly coveted berth on the British men’s junior team for the race in Bydgoszcz, Poland, on March 24. The Cambridge University student is the first HHH athlete at the championships since Basil Brown ran for Jamaica in the senior men’s race in 1987.

Lew’s performance – which also helped Surrey claim first place in the U20 men’s team event – preceded another exceptional run in which Katy Ann McDonald added another gold medal to her 2013 collection by winning the U13 girl’s race. Not only did McDonald – reigning Surrey and national cross country champion – win the 3km race by a whopping 22 seconds, but because the event doubled as the final race in the McCain UK Cross Challenge event, she also secured overall victory in the four-race series.

Were it not for McDonald’s extraordinary run of success, the attention would otherwise be focused on Saskia Millard, who finished seventh and was pivotal in Surrey’s victory in the U13 girl’s team race. Harriers’ other top-10 finisher was Ed Olsen who was 8th in U15 boy’s race. The club was also represented in Birmingham by John Tayleur (161st in the men’s U20 race) and senior men Tim Elsey (156th) and Mike Cummings (158th).

Away from cross country, a small but select band of Herne Hill Harrier veterans took part in the British Masters Athletic Federation indoor championships at Lee Valley at the weekend, and came away with five gold medals between them. In his first season as an M50, Masakatsu Kondo achieved a double first, recording 7:76 in the 60m final, having earlier won his heat, which included all the eventual medalists. He moved on immediately to the long jump, which he won fairly comfortably with a jump of 5.71 metres.

Allan Long, having moved up to M70 towards the end of last summer, also brought off a double win in the same events as Kondo. He was fast out of the blocks in the sprint, on his way to a time of 8:75 This places him fourth on the national indoor all time list for M70s. Earlier in the morning, Allan had won the long jump with a leap of 4.13 metres. This did not quite match his 4.20 when winning the South of England veterans’ indoor event a couple of weeks ago – an effort that placed him fourth on the all time list.

M40 Dave Peters raced from the front to win the 800m by more than two seconds in 2:02.51. This was not quite as fast as his 2:01.6 in New York and he would have welcomed slightly stiffer competition.

On the road, Cathy Ansell won the Fradley 10k in Lichfield in a time of 35.36 after an exuberant first 5k of around 17.23 and in freezing weather conditions.