Strong showing for Herne Hill at national relays

Ro Hughes racing to a Frankfurt PB

Herne Hill Harriers travelled to Mansfield on Saturday and contested nine of the 10 races at the National Cross Country Relay Championships.

The highest-placed teams were in the two U15 age groups. The boys’ A team of Leau Roch, Tommy Clerkin and Caspian Holmes finished ninth of 77 complete teams of three who raced around a muddy two-kilometre lap. The girls’ A team of Sophie Jack, Florence Mills and Maeve Minielly were 14th of 71 full teams.

The U15 boys B team of Jack McLennan, Dylan Gillies and Alfie Bryan were 43rd and a C team of Noah Turner, Askia Mulimba and Herbert Clark finished 57th.  The U15 girls B team was incomplete with just Lily Kitto representing.

Harriers only took one senior women’s team this year but they placed 20th of 103 full teams around their longer three-kilometre lap. W40 Leonie Biemolt, Sophie Tooley and U20 Kaitlin Hewitt formed a strong trio.

The U13 girls team of Sofia Mendes, Isobel McLennan and Sara Giordano Imbroll placed 21st of 51 teams and the U13 boys team were 23rd of 55 teams, courtesy of Luca Boulton, Rufus Octave and Henry Cucerov.

The U13s raced around the same two-kilometre lap as the U15s, while the U17 women ran one lap of the 2.5-kilometre circuit which the senior men were later to navigate twice per person in their race at the end of the proceedings.

The U17W A team was 30th of 45 complete teams through the efforts of Eva O’Hanlon, Grace O’Hanlon and Orla Caroll, with a B team of Vivi Marshall, Martha Brennan and Rosalie Laban 35th.

For the first time in many years Herne Hill contested the U20 men’s race with an A team of Harry Bell, Nick Odgers and Robin Bebbington 38th of 61 teams and also had an incomplete B team with Alex Jack and Sam Maloney.

The senior men’s A team finished 43rd of 150 full teams of four runners each around their five-kilometre stages.

This was one of their highest positions in what is always a hotly-contested event featuring internationals and top club athletes. Daniel Shaw, Andrew Clarke, Oliver Walker and David Moyse put in a strong showing.

The B team were 84th with Simon Coombes, Mike Cummings, James Nutt and Deron Fagan and the C team was incomplete despite the efforts of Stephen McLeod, Fintan Kearney and Alex Gutteridge, who made the trip.

The U17 men’s team of Keeran Sriskandarajah, Fred Hake and Patrick Cendrzak were 63rd of 79 teams with only the U20 women’s race going uncontested by the athletes in red-and-black hoops.

A week earlier new Herne Hill member Rowen Hughes recorded a big PB of 2:53.14 for 38th female in a huge field of mass entrants at the Frankfurt Marathon. Andrew Georgeson also raced and clocked 3:01.50.

The lower-key and more local Reigate Priory cross country relays were run on the same day as the big Mansfield event and also featured some Harriers teams.

The women’s A team finished ninth, the fastest team member being Shannon Sinclair with 15:35 and the men’s A team were 14th, with the fastest member being George Melville in 14:52.