The Big Dude Runs him down as Herne Hill swoop to opening Southern League win

On the last lap of the last race of the day, Nick Atwell chased off 40m behind the 2nd place team. At the finish line the team mates of the guy in second place were screaming their support.  After Nick had only completed 100m, one of the team mates turned to the other and said ‘that big dude is going to catch him you know’. So it transpired; with Nick blasting out a 47.6 leg to run him down, finishing a metre clear. A spectacular finish to a massive effort by the team all afternoon to run in 19 points clear of Kent AC, 40 clear of Hercules Wimbledon and more than a 100 in front of Medway.

Atwell had already won the individual 400 in 50.6, five minutes after running a non-scoring 100m in 11.4. As fine an afternoon as he had, Seb Wilson Dyer Gough produced the best performance of the match with his 7.01 win in the Long Jump. Seb was supported by the excellent Jevonni McFarlane who jumped 6.45 to win the B string, 11.38m to win the A string Triple Jump and magnificent legs in both the long and the short relays. Micah Goode partnered Jevonni in the B string Triple, filling in at the last minute and winning it.

17 year old Alex Tischler beat all comers in the men’s Javelin (37.51) and 60 year Garth Francis produced an unexpected win 29.44m. In the same way, Barbara Macanas (a vet 60) teamed up with Britli Francis to win the A & B Hammer event. Under 20 Britli had a busy afternoon, winning the A string Long Jump (4m.54), the A string Javelin with 21.78 and leading off the first leg of an excellent 4 x 100m relay win.

A large number of young athletes stepped up and performed really well against older competitors. Chira Hussey won the A string 100 in 13.4 and Michaela Pottinger the B string. Mallory Cluley win the A 200m in 26.82. These three are all U17s. In the U20s, Annabel Hobday won the A string 400m in 61.67 and Mollie O’Sullivan the A string 800 in 2.17.0 This set the tone for the women’s match with the ladies winning nearly every track event. Ladies Track Captain Steph Mitchell won the B string 400 (64.71) and the 800 (2.23.8, while Georgie Grgec and Natasha Lodge won the A and B 1500m in 4.40.0 and 5.01.37. Grgec’s run was the best female performance of the day, leading from gun to tape. Monika Gajek won the 3k B string with a big PB of 11.44 and Katie Kedward was second in the A string with yet another PB. Under 20 Zoe Tomkins won the 400 hurdles in great style in only her second race over the sticks as well as anchoring the all-conquering ladies 4 x 400m relay team.

It was a feature of the team performance that our athletes were prepared to fill in extra events to collect the little points here and there that all add up to a win. Finally an honourable mention to the newly appointed Southern Athletics League Team captain who won the B string Long (4.34m) and won the A string Triple Jump (9.11m), Joyce Kalombo. Joyce was an excellent captain on the day, managing changes along with the way, with the club sprints coach and Team Manager. She demonstrated a maturity beyond her years.

Steve Knight – HHH SAL Team Manager