Charlotte and Ore are top of the class at the UK School Games

Herne Hill Harriers Charlotte Alexander’s rich vein of championship winning form continued into September, as on Friday 1st she won the gold medal for the under 17 3000m at the UK School Games. Not to be outdone, her England South Schools and Herne Hill Harriers team mate Ore Adamson also won the gold medal in the long jump to cap a superb season for both of these young athletes.

Alexander produced another excellent win in a time of 9:47.78 on a hot sunny day in Loughborough which will have been enjoyed far more by the sprinters than the distance runners. There was a strong start list, as Alexander faced her nemesis, English Schools champion Ella McNiven from Liverpool, who had passed on the English Championships the previous weekend.

Having recovered for her cold and with a good week of training behind her, the Herne Hill Harrier was relishing the contest as McNiven set a strong early pace in what was a role reversal of the English Schools race, whilst Alexander tracked her a couple of strides behind. The first kilometre was passed in a swift 3:10 with Scottish Champion Heather Barnes also in close attendance. The pace slowed in the ensuing laps as the race shaped up into a three-way battle until with two laps remaining, Alexander launched a ferocious attack with a 73-4 second penultimate lap which saw her quickly move away from her opponents who could offer no response to such an injection of pace.

With another victory at the very highest level of national age group competition assured, Alexander eased back on the final lap as the exertions of three Championship wins in thirteen days caught up with her but her lead had grown to almost 70m by the finish to round off what has been a superb summer season for the 15 year old star in the making.


Adamson also produced another very strong competition to win her long jump event with a leap of 5.69m. She took home a second medal from the meeting courtesy of her being in the silver medal winning England South 4 x 100m relay team. Like Alexander, Adamson has also enjoyed an outstanding season and both of these exciting talents have another year in the same age group next season. Indeed Adamson tops the UK under 17 women’s long jump ranking with her best 5.98m as well as a wind assisted 6.00m performance.

Harriers’ senior women’s teams also enjoyed success at Saturday’s sunny Surrey County Road Relay Championship at Wimbledon Park. The club A team of Julia Wedmore 18.11, Chloe Tighe 16.15, Karen Ellison 18.35 and Helen Hadjam 18.41 placed second to win a set of silver medals, while an additional quartet Stacy Wheat 18.22, Frances Hale 19.37, Amy Brooker 20.01, Monika Gajek 20.44 finished eighth overall among senior teams and were first in the senior B team category. Herne Hill W45 ladies team of Rebecca Barrow 22.47, Mary Setyabule 21.53 and Sarah Allen 25.38 placed ninth in that age category.

Individually Chloe Tighe was second fastest overall among females on the day and although there was no medal for this she did of course win a team silver. The Herne Hill men’s team comprising Matt Robertson 15.44, Alan Barnes 15.25, Andrew Grigg 16.38, Ed Turner 17.15, Luiz Custodio 18.41 and Gavern Newsum 17.35 placed eleventh among the senior six man teams.

In parkrun action, Stacey Ward’s latest run out as she treads her careful comeback trail saw her break the women’s course record at Aldenham by around a minute, as she finished second overall and only eight seconds behind the male winner.

Saturday’s sunshine in Wimbledon Park was followed by chillier, wetter and windier weather for Sunday’s inaugural Kent AC Ladywell 10000m races, but this did not prevent big PBs all round for the four Herne Hill men who completed their 25 lap races. Sean Fitzpatrick clocked 32.48.77 in the fifth race of six, while in the previous race Jack Brotchie held on in the pack for a time of 34.50.11. Andrew Grigg was a good winner of the third race in 34.49.22 the day after running a leg in the Surrey Road Relays and was chased home in third place by early leader Simon Messenger who shattered his previous best time with 35.14.11.

On the same day the Harriers veteran men placed a valiant 4th at the Southern Veterans League Final at Ashford in Kent with a big all round team effort. Team manager Waldy Pauzers’ stars of the day were 1500m/3000m double-double winners Simon Coombes and Mohammed Ismail, with top performances and then Ismail also ran the 800m, and a 400m relay leg for a very busy day.

The weather was also wet and windy at the Woking Young Athletes Open meeting on Sunday afternoon, but this did not however dampen the Herne Hill effort with some very good performances.

A gold medal was claimed by Memphis Ayoade thanks to a fine win in the under 15 boys 300m as he clocked a Championship Best time of 37.89, while Noah Ojumu won silver in the under 15 boys 200m and Jaden Kennedy won a silver in the under 15 boys 800m.

Micah Goode and Te-Sing Burley made it into both the finals of their under 17 men’s 100m and 200m and Kai Broadbent narrowly missed out on bronze medals in both under 15 boys shot put and 100m. Clayton Mytil also made it into the final of the under 13 boys 100m and Joshua Chapman won one of the under 11 boys 600m heats in 1.57.84.
Overall it was a very good weekend for the red and black hoops.

Geoff Jerwood