Strong Schools Championship performances for Herne Hill youngsters while National League senior teams find things tough

Herne Hill Harriers young athletes performed very well again in this year’s county schools track and field championship meetings, the London Schools at Battersea Park and the Surrey Schools at the Kingsmeadow Weir Archer Stadium. As a result no less than 16 Harriers youngsters have been included in the initial selection of 59 who will represent the London team at the English Schools Championships in Birmingham in July, while the Surrey team currently awaits selection.

In the Junior Boys events at Battersea Clayton Mytilearned his team place winning the 80m hurdles in 12.28 after a heat time of 11.9, Dante Clarke the long jump with 6.10m, a PB that ranks him 4th under 15 boy in the UK and Alie Sesay the shot put with an excellent 13.55m, also a top 10 age group ranking so far this season. Also in the shot, Andre Parker was a good winner in the Intermediate Boys category with 13.29m, while in the long jump both Morgan Lewis and Ignatius Abebrese placed second and third in 6.51m and 6.00m respectively.

In the Junior Girls Eve Hepworth won the discus with a throw of 29.38m, while Alexys Archie’s second place in the shot with 11.16m also secured selection. Niyah Costley won the Intermediate Girls 100m in 12.25, with Mabel Smith claiming high jump gold with 1.64m and Je’Nae James placed second in the shot with 12.03m, beaten by a championship best performance.

A number of Herne Hill athletes also performed well at Kingsmeadow. These included event winners Charlotte Alexander (1500m) and Memphis Ayoade (200m) as well as Annabel Hobday (800m) and Maisie Collis (1500m) who won silver and bronze medal respectively.

The senior women and men were in National League track action at different venues on the same day on Sunday. The UK Women’s League team placed 5th at Bedford, where Herne Hill scored the most points in the track events, but were less strong in the field.

Fiona de Mauny had a very busy afternoon placing 2nd in the A 800m in 2.17.06, 4th in the A 400m in 60.65, 1st in the B string 1500m in 5.09.11 and ended the day running the anchor leg in the 4 x 400m relay team who finished 2nd.

Ella Newton was also well occupied winning the B string 800m in 2.16.78, placing 3rd in the A 3000m in 10.16.75 and she also contributed to the 400m relay team. Helena Corbin was 3rd in the A string in a good 1500m race, running a PB of 4.38.00 and as well as her relay leg she also threw the javelin. 

Julia Wedmore was 3rd in the B string 400m hurdles and then won the B 3000m, the latter in 11.03.89 while Katie Kedward tried both hurdling and steeplechase for the first time to good effect placing 3rd in the A 400m hurdles in 75.69 and was later also 3rd in the 2000m steeplechase in 7.52.45. The pick of the Harriers field event women was Ore Adamson, who was a good winner of the long jump with her leap of 5.72m.

The men’s British League team struggled at Chelmsford, placing 8th and last team but did have some good individual results within this, including an excellent A string sprint win double for club men’s 100m record holder Marvin Popoola, who clocked 10.78 for 100m and 21.94 for 200m.

Michael Wheeler won the shot put and his throw of 15.39m listed him as the 3rd best athlete overall on the scoring tables in the match.

Under 20 star 400m man David Ryan ran a big PB of 48.64, but such was the standard of competition this only placed him 3rd in the best track race of the day. Mike Cummings came 2nd in the 800m and 6th in 1500m.

M40 athlete Stuart Thurgood threw 50.35m to place 3rd in the hammer and 11.93m to be 4th in the B string shot, while Josh Pewter and Arlo Ludewick made their league debuts in the 3000m.

Jeff Cunningham scored 4th place points in the A string 3000m steeplechase and then filled the 1500m B string and also triple jumped in the absence of field events specialists on the day, a deficiency which largely contributed to a disappointing overall team result.

On a cool and often wet Friday evening the England Championship 10000m races took place at Walthamstow. Olivia Zeltner ran in the first of the supporting races and kicked off with a fine track 10000m debut as she paced herself nicely and spent much of the race reeling off the laps and reeling in some who had set off with too much ambition. By the finish Zeltner clocked a good 38.37.6 to place second woman in the D race.  

In the C race Andrew Grigg also judged his 25 laps of the track very well in the conditions and worked his way past runners who had not quite done likewise. Grigg ran an excellent and pretty even 33.10.54 to finish in 11th place. 

On Saturday a member of the Herne Hill women’s team who won national road relays silver medals in April won herself another silver medal, this time for an individual second place at the Northern Ireland 5000m champs. Jessica Craig’s 17.13.49 was more about securing a nice colour medal than the time itself and was a fine performance on a very windy track.