Herne Hill Harriers youngsters continued their impressive early winter form at the SEAA cross country relays and gave their watching coach James McDonald an early birthday present as he continued his recovery from a serious operation
The young athletes teams had won medals and the National & Southern road relays in the past month and the Under 13 and U15 girls teams won with the Under 13 girls team finishing second and the U13 boys and U17 men finishing third. U15 boys and U17 women were just outside the medals in fourth.
In the Under 13 girls the A and B team had a great battle for the gold medals. Rosie Hammond led off the A team finishing eighth, Eva Holland eleventh and Jess Butland finished sixteenth for the B team but Lulu King, running for the B team, bounced back to form and shot into the lead at the end of the second leg with Jessica Tabraham coming in third. On leg three Maisie Collis running for the A team burst into the lead but was chased all the way by Amy Miller who came in second team for a 1-2 for Herne hill Harriers. Maisie ran the fastest leg of the day with Lulu the second fastest and Amy the fifth fastest whilst the the C team finished a superb eighth.
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In the Under 15 girls Eimear Griffin came in second on leg one which Lily Newton maintained on leg two, however she handed over to Alex Brown running leg three with a 60 metre deficit behind Guildford. Alex stayed in control and closed the gap steadily and took over the lead with half a mile to go to go clear with the fastest time of the day.
The Under 13 boys team of Toby Reynolds, Jaden Kennedy & Jacob Harrison ran excellently to come in third & the Under 17 men of Abel Tadesse and Laurie Pope were boosted by Paul Burgess’s cool final leg for bronze medals.
We were just outside the medals in the U15 boys and U17 women with both teams finishing fourth after strong battles for the medals but to perform so well at these major championships in all the agegroups augers well for the future races. Coach James McDonald was presented with a large birthday cake at the end of the races which was eagerly devoured by his hungry but well deserving squad.