A fine win for Herne Hill women in Surrey League on Mitcham Common

Herne Hill Harriers senior women’s team returned to winning ways on Mitcham Common on Saturday afternoon after a less than ideal 13th place in the first Surrey League cross country race at Reigate last month had got the team off to a disappointing start to the league season.

Harriers’ team turnout of fifteen starters for this second league fixture was almost double the eight who ran at the first race in Reigate and this team victory has moved the team up to fifth in Division 1 after two of the four races. 

Herne Hill were superbly led by Steph McCall’s individual race winning return, which will be an inspiration to other athletes who have been on the side lines with injury for lengthy periods of time. Superb backup came in the form of Helena Corbin 14th, Sarah Grover 18th, Fiona de Mauny20th and Julia Wedmore 24th as the entire Harriers A team of five runners closed in a higher position than their first finisher had at Reigate.

The B team of Katie Kedward 56th, Susan Mair93rd, under 20 Jemima Hayward-Bhika 109th, Sam Whiting 128th and Jess Winfield 133rd placed 21stoverall of the 30 teams A and B in the division. Theremaining Surrey League races are after Christmas, first on Saturday 11th January and then on Saturday 8th February, so in the meantime the women and men will turn their attentions to the upcoming London Cross Country Championship this Saturday at Parliament Hill and then the South of Thames 5 miles championship the following weekend in Morden Park.

Also at Mitcham the under 13 girls team scored a fine team win and also supplied the race winner as Lily-Rose Brown was first home in this race. Eva O’Hanlon was a very good fourth, Vivi Marshall was sixth and Grace O’Hanlon closed the winning A team in eighth place. Further backup was provided by Izzy Perry in ninth and Abbey Jeffcoat14th.

There was only one under 17 woman racing as Harriet Alexander placed tenth in her category, while the sole under 15 female representative was Sophia Ezeh in 29th. However there were Herne Hill under 20 and under 17 women also racing at the British Athletics Cross Challenge race at Milton Keynes, where in a strong under 20 field Phoebe Anderson was 15th, under 17 Maisie Collis was 60th and Annabel Hobday was 74th.

At the men’s and boys’ Surrey League races on a very wet Wimbledon Common, Herne Hill supplied one individual race winner as Josh Lee-Baum came home first in the under 13 boys race to lead his team in second place. Oak Buchan ran well to finish fourth, Fabien Whitelock was 26th, Jon Goldston placed 28th and Barnabus Woodcraft was 32nd. The combined under 17/under 15 team placed fourth, with Sam Camenzuli 13th, Charlie Krammer 19th, Harvey Kande 25th, Jacob Alley 43rd, Sammy Morgan 49th, Robin Bebbington 56th, Evan Cowell-New 62nd, Alexander Spaul 63rd, Diego Lister 66th and David Aisa-Miller 67th.

The Herne Hill senior men’s team turnout of 31 runners was excellent and the A team placed 6th in what was an incredibly close contest between the team from 3rd to 6th. Harriers’ team packing was superb once the first man in red and black was into the finish funnel. This was Nick Dewar in 27thposition which also earned him the accolade of being the 300th different Herne Hill A team scorer in the history of the league.

Remaining A team members were Richard Henderson 29th, Mike Cummings 32nd, Angus Butler 41st, Andrew Warburton 43rd, Andrew Clarke in his last race before heading off to work in Egypt 45th, Brandon Dewar 46th, Jack Dickenson 61st, Joe Elliott (Herne Hill’s 301st new team scorer) 62ndand M45 Simon Coombes 64th.

The Herne Hill B team of 10 were an excellent second place behind the all-conquering Kent AC squad, courtesy of Josh Pewter, Jack Brotchie, Eoin Brady, Alex Hobley, Matt Cartwright, Raj Paranandi, Matthew Munro, Andrew Grigg, Myles Preston and Oliver Walker, with a further 11 Herne Hill men closing in behind the first 20 from the club on a good day of racing which also saw under 20 Arlo Ludewick place an excellent fifth in the Manchester League cross country racing for his university team.

Geoff Jerwood