Australian Triumph for Herne Hill Harrier Chloe Tighe

A week after the fantastic team gold medal winning performance from the Herne Hill Harriers under 15 girls at the South of England Cross Country Championship in Brighton led by Eva Holland’s fabulous fifth place and in the absence of any club team events, this weekend’s club celebrations turned to a regional gold medal won by a member now racing on the other side of the world.

Chloe Tighe may have returned home to Australia for now, but remote coaching from London can still be effective as on Sunday she became the 2018 New South Wales women’s 1500m champion. Tighe sprang a surprise on the best local runners in the State as she clocked a superb PB time of 4.15.94 to win by over two seconds. Following the long-time leader into the last lap, Tighe produced a very impressive change of pace with 300m to go and her final 400m covered in 63.42 seconds took her to a clear victory. Tighe has now qualified to race at the Australian National Championship later this month, a meeting that is also the trial for the Australian Commonwealth Games team for the Gold Coast in April.

At home, Stacey Ward finished second female in a hilly and windy Watford Half Marathon in 79:53 as she continues to move forward in her comeback after surgery last year. Also in the road race prize money, Simon Coombes placed a good 20th overall and second M45 at the Chichester 10k road race which always attracts a strong field. His time of 33.28 was a performance that earns him an England Masters vest in a 10k road race in May. In another road event Alex Hobley placed seventh in the Great Bentley Half Marathon in a PB of 74:37.

In cross country action on Saturday at the very wet and muddy British Universities and Colleges Championship in Hillingdon, Herne Hill athletes Kate Brown (Durham Uni) placed 70th, Katie Moore (Loughborough) 72nd and Sarah Grover (Imperial) 131st.  In the men’s short race Merhawi Tesfaldet (Birmingham) was 78th, Lewis Laylee (Birmingham) 93rd and John Tayleur (Leeds) 96th, while in the men’s A race Jack Dickenson finished 241st racing for the University of London.

Also racing cross country at the South East Schools Championship at Newbury, Liv Stillman finished sixth in a strong under 19 girls field with a good positive run following a hard race at the Southern at Brighton’s Stanmer Park a week earlier. At Tooting parkrun there was a very welcome winning return to racing for Mike Cummings in a time of 16.37, followed in by Matt Cartwright fifth in 17.49 and Simon Messenger sixth in 17.52.

Racing indoors for Brunel University on the previous Wednesday, Marvin Popoola opened his 200m competition for 2018 with a win at the Inter Varsity meeting at Lee Valley as he stopped the clock at 22.15 seconds. Combined events athlete Daniel Ryan, also competing for the Brunel team ran 60m hurdles in 8.66 seconds, long jumped 6.30m and put the shot a PB distance of 12.20m for a busy day’s work. Popoola then shaved a few hundredths off his Lee Valley time when clocking 22.11 when placing second at an indoor meet in Norway over the weekend.

Geoff Jerwood