England U20 Champs Silver medal for Eliza in Chelmsford

Young middle distance running star Eliza Nicholson made very exciting progress on Sunday as she claimed a superb silver medal at the England Athletics U20 Women’s 3,000m at Chelmsford.  

One of the youngest at this meeting, having only recently turned 16, Nicholson ran a PB of 9:24.17, which improved the Herne Hill Harriers’ U17 women’s record she had set in the Southern age group championship at Walton two weeks earlier by almost six seconds. 

This performance moves her to the top of UK U17 women’s rankings this season and has seen her PB come down by almost a minute since last summer. Among older U20 women in the UK only the race winner Innes Fitzgerald and Jess Bailey, who Nicholson beat in a close finish at Chelmsford, have run faster over 3,000m.  

Ignatius Abebrese continued his strong start to the season and was the other Herne Hill national medalist of the weekend at these England U20 and U23 Championships. He placed third in the U20 men’s triple jump on Saturday with 14:04m, a week after setting his season’s best at the NAL match at Bedford.  

Also on Saturday, Ore Adamson, now back home in London from Texas San Antonio University, only just missed a place on the medals podium. Adamson finished a close fourth in the U23 women’s long jump with 6.09m against a slight headwind, only 10cm behind the gold medal winner and just 2cm shy of the bronze. 

Second claim Harrier Cerys Aboagye was fifth in the U20 women’s shot at Chelmsford on Saturday with a PB of 12.49m. The Herne Hill senior men and women competed in their second Southern Athletics League fixture of the season at Carshalton on Sunday.

The team placed second of six teams in the match, with strong performances in the sprints and the men’s distance races being the main feature, Andris Thorpe was first in the men’s A 100m with 11.08 and second in the A 200m in 23.13, with U17 Rikaion Smith taking a B string win double with 11.05 and 22.80.  

U17 Keeran Sriskandarajah and U20 Harvey Kande were A and B winners in the men’s 400m, clocking 51.56 and 55.54 respectively.

Joyce Kalombo won both the women’s A 100m and 200m with 12.51 and a PB 25.69, with Jaydine Robinson third in the B 100m and first in the B 200m in 12.90 and 26.74. Robinson had earlier won the A long jump with 4.95m, just two centimetres ahead of Kalombo who won the B string with 4.93m. 

Esther Fuja and U17 Lily-Rose Brown had a fine tussle in the final metres of the women’s 400m, with Fuja taking the A string win in 58.80 just ahead of Brown, who was also under 60 seconds with 59.88 in her first 400m race, having previously raced 300m in younger competition. Rosalie Laban won the women’s A 400m hurdles in 75.01.  

In the longer races Mori Alimi won the men’s A 1,500m in 4:15.98, with Sriskarandarajah taking the B in 4:27.59. Ryan Willmott clocked 4:31.19 winning a non-scoring 1,500m after having clearly won the men’s A string 5,000m in 16:36.16.  

At the end of the afternoon the 4x100m relay teams both won their races, the women clocking 49.62 and the men 44.86. In between relay races Izzy Perry found herself unchallenged as the sole competitor in the women’s 1,500m steeplechase, her finishing time of 5:34.49 being commendable in such circumstances as she claimed maximum points for her team. 

The final selection meeting on Sunday for the London Schools team to travel to Birmingham at the end of this month for the English Schools Championship saw a total of 18 young athletes selected to represent London at this major event. Herne Hill are again the club who has provided the highest number of athletes in the London Schools track and field team which will include some strong contenders. 

Earlier in the week at the Sri Chinmoy 5km road race in Battersea Park on Tuesday evening there was strong Harriers representation as Morgan Roberts placed second in 15:19, Andrew Clarke fifth in 15:37 and Max Rose 28th in 16:19, one place ahead of Joe Elliott 16:23. Ross Brown was 36th in 16:37 and Greg Mills 61st in 16:57, while the seventh M50 in 17:50 was Jonathan Ratcliffe.

Also in road racing and on the other side of the world in Sydney on Sunday morning, Herne Hill athlete Jennifer Clancy ran her first race since her big move and recorded her first ever podium position as she placed second female in the Mini Mosman 2023 10km. Clancy’s 38:28 was 17 seconds behind the winner and clear of third place for a good run on a very hilly course.

Before then, at last Friday’s Comber 10km road race in Northern Ireland, third female in her home town was Katie Moore in 36.47, while Jenny Nandi was fifth woman in 38:16 and in 38th overall was James Brown in 37:16.

Geoff Jerwood