One of Herne Hill Harriers’ rising young stars made a trip to Liverpool on Saturday, as Ella Newton contested the Under 17 women’s race at the highly competitive UKA Liverpool Cross Challenge, which for the older age groups also incorporated the trials for the European Cross Country Championships in Hyeres, France next month.
Racing over a very wet, muddy and windy 4.4km course in Sefton Park, 15 year old Ella made good use of the opportunity to gain experience of racing at this level and acquitted herself superbly well in placing 21st among the U17 women and finished either close behind or ahead of a number of opponents she has not previously beaten or rivalled.
In a weekend bereft of any club team races for Harriers, some fine in individual race performances were recorded by club senior runners at different races, none more so than Stacey Ward. Ward returned to winning ways after injury and was easily the first woman in the Sorority Cup Cross Country race for her second claim club on a very hilly and muddy course at Trent Park, where her victory margin was over 2 minutes. Mike Cummings and Simon Coombes were both placed in the top 10 at the Wolverton 5 in Milton Keynes, with Cummings clocking 25.59 for 7th and Coombes 26.23 for 9th, the latter also being 2nd placed M40 in the race.
In parkrun action, John Tayleur (Woodhouse Moor – 16.29), Mel Edwards (Crystal Palace – 20.00) and Suzanne Swaine (Roundshaw Downs – 22.34) were all first finishers at their respective events. At Roundshaw, Steve Knight was easily the first M65 finisher (23.32), while Laura Dowsing was 3rd lady at the Brockwell parkrun (20.52). A number of Harriers ran the Dulwich parkrun, the best of whom were Sean Fitzpatick 7th (16.58), just ahead of Eric Sapac, 8th (17.00), followed by Tom Levitt (17.55), John Appleton (17.58), Jonathan Ratcliffe (18.04) and Rob Edwards (18.38).