Trials and Tribulations for Katie Snowden at UK Championship 

Photo credit Noble Boutin

Herne Hill Harriers’ English women’s 1500m record holder Katie Snowden led the club entry at the UK Athletics Championship and Olympic Trials meeting at SportCity in Manchester over the weekend.

Snowden had hopes of a first two finish that would guarantee a place in Team GB for the Paris Olympic Games next month in this event, despite what has so far been a difficult outdoor season after having missed her winter indoor race campaign due to injuries. 

After qualifying with a comfortable looking win in her heat on Saturday in 4:13.34 she had positioned herself well going into the final lap of a very tactical final on Sunday. However, in a race where the first five athletes have all run the Olympic qualifying time, Snowden had to yield in a rapid closing 200m, finishing fifth in 4:12.94.

With three team spaces available per event and the first two finishers confirmed, Snowden had to wait on the outside chance of being given the third place on the plane at the discretion of the UK Athletics selectors. Sadly they confirmed that Katie will not be going to the Paris Olympics despite having run the qualifying A standard time on six occasions and being ranked second in the UK both all time and for 2024 at the time the selectors met.

Others who wore the club’s red and black colours in Manchester included NCAA finalist Phoebe Anderson making her senior debut at these championships. Anderson finished a strong 14th of 19 finishers in the women’s 5000m with 15:46.82. 

Although a little away from her PB from earlier in the season, Anderson’s time here was nevertheless faster than any other Herne Hill female athlete to date and rounds off an excellent summer which began back in April across the pond.

Two Harriers sprinters were in action on Saturday. Kristal Ama-Awuah qualified from her 100m heat in second place with 11.64, just outside her season’s best. However, her bid for a place in the final was thwarted by a disqualification for a false start in her semi-final later in the day.

Myles Copeland-Naulty has, like Anderson run some very fast times on the USA collegiate circuit, but found his 10.80 for sixth in one of Saturday’s 100m heats and 21.73 for another sixth place in his 200m heat the next day insufficient to advance into the next rounds. 

Elsewhere, star multi eventer Jasmine Nkoso won a silver medal in the pentathlon at the South of England Under 15 Girls Combined Events Championship in Oxford on Saturday with 3,294 points. The highlight of her five events in one day was a new 75m hurdles hurdles PB of 11.72.Herne Hill teenage athletes were in action on Sunday at a National Youth Development League Upper Division match in Crawley, where an unfortunately very depleted team finished seventh of eight teams on the day. There were, however, some very good individual performances at the K2 Athletics Stadium in this fixture for the under 17 and under 20 age groups. 

Ella Rennie equalled her 100m PB and Harriers club U17 women’s record with 12.23, placing second in the A string only one hundredth of a second behind the winner. Rennie then scored an emphatic win over the same opponent in the A 200m, clocking a new PB of 24.63 and her second club age group record of the day.

The U17 women’s 300m saw a win double thanks to Lily-Rose Brown taking the A race with 40.52 and Lucy Wright the B with 41.76, the latter also faster than the A string second placed athlete. Also in this age group Orla Wright and Sophie Jack were winners of the A and B 800m with 2:17.08 and 2:27.19 respectively. 

The U17 men’s team featured second place A string finishes for Joseph Johnson-Cole in the 100m with 11.09 and Jon Goldston in the 400m with 52.04. Another 400m man Fred Hake was third in the A 200m with 22.82 and again showed his versatility by placing second in the A triple jump with 12.42m. Maalik Adamson was a strong winner of the A long jump with 6.88m.

In the U20 men’s events Rikaion Smith won the A 100m with a PB 10.80 and was then only a fraction outside his best in placing second in the A 200m with 22.18. Ricardo Sutherland was second in the B 100m with 11.44. 

Fabien Whitelock was the winner of the A 1500m in this age group with a big PB 4:10.64, with Robin Bebbington second in the B string, also with a PB 4:20.64.

Geoff Jerwood