Young athletes from Herne Hill Harriers claimed individual gold medals at three different county cross country championship events in the south of England last weekend as the club athletics fixtures kicked off in earnest for the new decade.
The Surrey championship at Denbies Vineyard, near Dorking was where most of the Harriers were racing and the star turn was Phoebe Bowen who took the under 15 girls title on a very hilly course which was also very firm under foot after the mudlarks of previous weeks on the season so far.
Bowen had taken the race by the scruff of the neck and then rallied to hold off a last ditch challenge in the finishing straight to prevail. Also winning gold medals in other counties were under 20 women Yasmin Marghini, who dominated the combined under 20 and under 17 women’s race in the Middlesex championship at Wormwood Scrubs in impressive fashion, while Phoebe Anderson was crowned as champion in her under 20 age category at the Buckinghamshire county event at Biggleswade,
Back to the hills in Denbies Winery, more strong young performers were Eva and Grace O’Hanlon, Vivi Marshall and Daisy Furminger, who placed 4th, 6th, 8th and 11th in the Under 13 Girls race,enabling these girls to win the team silver medals,
Oak Buchan 6th, Joshua Lee Baum 10th and Josh Maguire 19th also ran very well in the under 13 Boys race, as did Harvey Kande 12th and David Aisa Miller 20th in the U15 Boys event.
In the older age groups Arlo Ludewick was the main man at Denbies with his fine 4th place in the under 20 men’s race, while Poppy Craig-McFeely was an excellent 5th in the under 17 women’s category.
The Herne Hill senior men’s team finished a very solid 4th given some absentees with the scoring team of six runners being Lewis Laylee 19th, Carl Delaney 23rd, Alex Hobley 37th, Andrew Grigg 38th, John Foxall 50th and Matt Munro 56th.
These men were very well backed up by Eoin Brady 58th, Henry Brown 66th, Jonathan Ratcliffe 83rd, Richard Keeble 89th, Duane Matthews 90th, Jonny Whittall 92nd, Trevor Chilton 115th, Ben Lidgard 127th and Ed Turner 133rd of the 199 finishers in this race.
The senior women also enjoyed a double figures turnout placing 5th team as the 4 team scorers were Fiona de Mauny 17th, Julia Wedmore 19th, Lara Langston 34th and Karen Ellison 36th.
Herne Hill would surely have fared better if there was a 6 to score format as in the men’s race, as good team support was provided by Aimee Hargreaves 43rd, Sue Swaine 45th, Shannon Sinclair 52nd, Susan Mair 82nd, Jess Winfield 86th and Gillian Wheeldon 112th.
Seniors and veterans from the club were also in action at other county championship races. Simon Coombes was 3rd in the Bedfordshire championship at Biggleswade and was the 1st M45. Jack Dickenson was 5th at the Worcestershire county championship at Salwarpe and Andrew Warburton was a 13th in the Nottinghamshire championship held in Shipley Park as the Harriers athletes signalled their intentions for the year 2020.