The young athletes section of Herne Hill Harriers was very well represented at the English Schools Athletics Association Championship in Manchester over the weekend. A total of twenty two athletes from the club competed for their county schools teams, the great majority for London, but with some also for Surrey. Four of these brought home individual silver medals from the highest level of domestic school competition, with all four of them also adding a sprint relay medal each to an impressive tally.
Two of the silver medals were achieved in the Junior Girls age group. Ella Rennie gritted her teeth to score a narrow win in her 200m heat on Friday in 25.80 to set up a medal opportunity for the following day’s final. This was a close race between three girls, with Rennie finishing a very good second for a place on the podium. Her time of 25.91 was against a headwind of minus 2.1 metres per second. Rennie was then a member of the London Schools Junior Girls medal winning team.
Also a Junior Girl, Lily-Rose Brown claimed a silver in the 300m, winning both her heat and semi final on Friday with a PB 40.83 in the heat and 40.90 in the semi. In Saturday’s final Brown then improved her PB to 40.50 to cross the line in second. Her time elevates her to second place in the current UK Under 15 Girls rankings. For good measure she was then part of the London Schools silver medal winning 4 x 100m relay team.
In the Junior Boys age group Freddie Hake was also contesting the 300m distance and also won both his heat and semi final on Friday. Hake was progressively quicker through the rounds, with 37.38 in his heat and 37.28 in his semi final. Hake then ran substantially faster in the final with a PB 36.56, which saw him also win a silver medal. Later on Saturday he then added a gold to his collection with the Surrey Schools 4 x 100m relay team.
One more individual silver medal from the Harriers contingent was Senior Girls 100m athlete Niyah Costley, who also won a team gold medal in the London 4 x 100m relay team.
Earlier in the season Costley had experienced racing at the Muller UK Championship at the same venue and has also been a member of the Herne Hill Under 20 women’s 4 x 100m club record breaking team back in May. Costley was able to draw on all of this when winning her heat on Friday in 11.93 before then placing a good second in her final on Saturday in 11.78. The latter was assisted by an over the limit tail wind of 2.8 metres/sec.
A further eight Herne Hill young athletes set PB performances in Manchester. In the Junior Girls 800m both Lucy Wright and Sophia Sahai ran PBs of 2:15.89 and 2:16.31. Wright exited in a strong heat, while Sahai went on to place eighth in the final with 2:18.20. Orla Wright and Sophie Jack both ran their best times to date in the Junior Girls 1500m, Wright clocking 4:52.81 and Jack 4:59.09, with neither advancing to their final, but great efforts.
Junior Boys Jon Goldston and Sheriff Silly also recorded PBs. Goldston clocked 37.30 in the 300m. The next day he then finished eighth in 37.91 in the same final in which Hake won his silver medal. Silly was an excellent fourth in the long jump with 5.84m in a good quality competition. In the Intermediate Boys age group, Dante Clarke was fourth in his 100m hurdles heat with 13.77 before finishing eighth in the final with 14.11, while Khalil Sesay was timed at 22.78 for third in his 200m heat.
Although not quite running a PB, Keeran Sriskandarajah was seventh in a strong Inter Boys 800m final with 1:55.42, while another of the nine athletes from James McDonald’s training group who competed, Alexander Wilson was only a fraction outside his PB in the Junior Boys 1500m with 4:25.49.
We also had a host of field event finalists. Je’nae James was fifth in the Senior Girls shot with 10.95m, Alexander Abebrese seventh in the Inter Boys shot with 12.82m and Solomon Thompson Moodley ninth in the Junior Boys high jump with 1.64m.
Victoria Alicante-King was fifth in the Inter Girls shot with 13.29m and Omari Jackson-Whyte was sixth in the Inter Boys shot with a throw of 13.14m, adding their contribution to a very successful weekend of high level competition and performance.