Herne Hill Harriers June 6-7

Herne Hill Harriers’ Jessie Knight had a weekend to remember after breaking the women’s club record over 400m on Saturday, before winning the 400m hurdles as part of a match-winning performance by the Tooting Bec-based club on Sunday.

Knight’s breakthrough run over 400m happened at the AtletiCAGenève event in Switzerland, with the 20-year-old dipping under 54 seconds for the first time with 53.48 – the 15th fastest time run by a British woman in 2015.

Jessica Knight
Knight was then back in London in time to compete for Harriers in the latest round of the UK Women’s League at Kingston. She not only won the 400m hurdles in 61.57, but also claimed a brace of third places in the 100m hurdles and the high jump.

It was also a fine weekend for another 400m specialist, Nicholas Atwell, who won the A-string 400m at the men’s British Athletics League meeting in 48.33, while he was also a winner in the B-string 200m and was prominent in the both 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m relay teams, notably in running a 47.8 split on the anchor leg of Harriers’ winning 4 x 400 team.

While Herne Hill Harriers’ men’s team were competing in Southampton, the senior women’s team burst into promotion contention by winning their second UK Women’s League match at Kingsmeadow.

After seeing Knight win the opening event of the 400m hurdles, Herne Hill dominated the competition. Harriers athletes won the A and B string events in the 100m (Shanice Harrison and Jade Phillips), the 800m (Hannah Edwards and Steph Mitchell) and 1500m (Stacey Ward and Mitchell again). Ward also won the 3000m in 9.48.42.

In the field, there were second places for Louise Capicotto (30.61m in the discus), Rebecca Zelic (5.24m in the long jump), Michella Obijiaku (12.07m in the shot) and Phillips (9.45m in the B string shot). Liz Donnelly and Edwards also both ran personal bests in their respective strings of the 400m races, with Donnelly third in 58.92 in the A race, and Edwards a strong B-string victory in 59.19. Donnelly and Edwards were also part of a 4 x 400m team with Mitchell and Knight to crown the success.

The win puts Herne Hill second in the division one point behind Herts Phoenix AC with one match at Wigan in August remaining and needing to beat the leaders or host club City of Liverpool to gain promotion.

The men’s team, meanwhile, rallied after a poor opening to the season to place fifth in Southampton and are now seventh in the eight-team league. As well as Atwell’s victory, there were A-string wins for Jay Rossiter (9.05.36 in the 3000m steeplechase), Rushane Thomas (14.84 in the 100m hurdles), Gavin Johnson-Assoon (62.98m in the javelin), while Blade Ashby, Isaac Ogunlade and Peter Phillips supported Atwell in the 4 x 400m success.

Additionally, there were B-string victories for Isaac Ogunlade (53.08 in the 400m hurdles) and Allandre Johnson (53.90m in the javelin). U20 athletes Phillip Thomas and Tayo Andrews also scored very good third places to gain A-string points in the triple jump and high jump respectively.

A clutch of Herne Hill athletes were also in action at the Surrey and Sussex Masters County Championships at Epsom. Gary Ironmonger was a double Surrey gold medallist in the M50 800m and 1500m, with Vic Maughn twice finishing runner-up to Ironmonger. Guiseppi Minetti was also a double medallist, winning the M45 100m in a championship best time and the 200m. Steve Knight was another to win two golds – the M65 800m and 1500m. Further Surrey gold medallists on the track were Rebecca Barrow (W40 800m), Nikki Sturzaker (W40 1500m) and Mike Boyle (M50 5000m), while Sarah Allen won silver in the W50 5000m. In the field events, there were gold medals for Sharon St Luce (W55 long jump, W55 javelin and W55 shot), Allan Long (M70 long jump), Kathleen Moeller (W35 hammer, W35 discus, W35 javelin and W35 shot) and Des Austin (M50 discus and M50 hammer).

On the road, Sean Fitzpatrick was tenth at the Derby Ramathon Half Marathon in a personal best 77 minutes, nine seconds. Jonathan Ratcliffe was 22nd at the Dorking 10 and Patrick Conaghan 54th in 63.18. Sam Whiting was 45th woman in 78.53.