Big end of season runs for Kristal and Katie as Lily-Rose introduces herself to the track at the age of 10

Herne Hill Harriers athletes have had another very busy week, with representation last Wednesday evening at the Manchester International, the Eltham BMC and the Hercules Wimbledon 5000m races, then on Saturday at the Birmingham Diamond League, the Trafford BMC Grand Prix and the Southern Athletics League at Tooting. There was also a sensational track performance by a 10 year old girl from the club at Bromley last Monday and then ran even faster at Carshalton on Sunday.

Kristal Awuah has enjoyed a fabulous season as she has smashed the Harriers club records for both under 20 and senior women at both 100m and 200m and brought home two World Junior Championship bronze medals (100m and 4 x 100m) from Finland earlier this summer, the first athlete from the club to achieve such a feat. Wednesday’s Manchester International meet was Awuah’s last race of the season as she rounded things off nicely as she comfortably defeated a quality senior field in 11.37, again representing the Great Britain U20 team.

Eltham saw an emphatic victory for Katie Snowden in the BMC Challenge women’s 800m race with a strong finishing kick with her winning time of 2.05.52 being of lesser importance with a bigger race on her horizon at the Diamond League meet in Birmingham.

Then on Saturday afternoon Snowden raced again in Birmingham and with her Herne Hill colours on display live on BBC TV, Snowden produced one of her best races since the Commonwealth Games. Recording a PB and club women’s 1000m record of 2.35.54 she placed fourth behind three athletes who had all performed very well at the recent European Championship in Berlin.

At the Blackheath & Bromley open meeting in Norman Park last Monday there was an amazing performance by a young lady who only turned 10 years of age in May. Lily-Rose Brown’s older brother Jaden Kennedy has been a National age group cross country champion and now his sister is displaying prodigious talent. Brown raced against older athletes in an open 800m race and won by a huge margin of eight seconds, her time of 2.30.68 sending her to the top of the UK under 11 girls’ rankings. Brown then followed this up with an even faster 2.30.4 when racing at the South London Athletics Network Super 8 Series meeting at Carshalton on Sunday.

Mike Cummings, Andrew Clarke and Andrew Warburton all raced very well at Saturday evening’s Trafford BMC Grand Prix in Manchester. All three were well under four minutes for 1500m as both Clarke and Warburton ran PBs and ahead of them Cummings was only just outside his with a good season’s best time. Cummings clocked 3.53.99, Clarke ran 3.57.17 and Warburton 3.58.13, all running in the same race.

Earlier in the week at the same Eltham meeting as Snowden, there were 800m PBs for Cummings 1.55.25, Clarke 1.56.90 and Alex Hobley 2.03.96. Helena Corbin ran a season’s best 2.15.25, Katie Kedward clocked 2.18.91 and under 15 Maisie Collis was timed at 2.18.84.

There were more PBs in Wimbledon Park at the Hercules 5000m races, with Nick Bester’s 15.33, Raj Paranandi’s 16.18.73 and Simon Messenger’s 16.43.68. Ben Paviour moved close to the top of the U.K. M45 rankings behind club mate Simon Coombes as he clocked 15.42.92, while Jack Brotchie ran 16.05.64, Jeff Cunningham 16.32.25 and Tony Macdowall 17.23.25.

At Tooting on Saturday the Herne Hill SAL team won their final league match of the season and were aided by some good middle distance contributions. M45 Simon Coombes was second in the A 800m in 2.05.7 and then won the B 1500m in 4.12.4, whilst Jack Brotchie was second in the A 5000m in 16.16.1 and Mohammed Ismail won the B in 16.18.9. Jeff Cunningham and John Foxall scored maximum points in the 2000m steeplechase with 7.04.6 and 7.18.6.

Mollie O’Sullivan was a clear winner of the women’s A 800m in 2.16.4, with Lily Newton taking the B string in 2.31.5 and then following up with 66.8 for third in the A 400m. Katie Balme was another young team member who scored a race win in the A 1500m in 4.54.9 with Natasha Lodge struggling on the day but sticking to her task for the team to win the B string in 5.02.4. Lara Langston was second in the A 3000m in 11.12.3 with Monika Gajek winning the B string in 11.42.1 and Jemima Hayward Bhika won the A 400m hurdles in 83.3.

Herne Hill sprinters claimed nearly all the points. Cathan Marcel and Tobi Ogunbode claimed 100m A and B string wins, both running 11.6. Isaac Ogunlade (52.6) blazed out in the 400m, but was run down in a well- judged effort by under 17 Memphis Oyaode (52.2) as they scored an A and B string win double.

Oyaode also won the high jump with 1.70m, with Seb Wilson Dyer Gough taking the long jump with 6.58m and the ever-present Aaron Brown won the B in 5.41m. Brown won the A string triple jump with 12.02m and with regular partner Micah Goode winning the B string with 11.46m. Ladies captain Joyce Kalombo won the A string long jump with 4.44m and was second in the B string triple jump with 9.63m to round off a fine end of season team victory.

Geoff Jerwood