First Surrey League Division 1 team title since 1978

Hercules Wimbledon Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club enjoyed another successful weekend of cross country running with the senior men making history by winning the Start Fitness Surrey League Division One team competition for the first time in four decades, writes Tom Pollak.

The club has to go back to 1978 for the last time it won a top division match. The victory also means Hercules Wimbledon top the league going into 2018.

Leading the team home on Mitcham Common was Jonny Cornish who raced to fifth place in 27 minutes 38 seconds. Not far behind were a bunch of five Hercules Wimbledon runners in close proximity to each other. Andrew Penney finished 11th in 28:04, Ben Toomer 13th in 28:09, Fred Slemeck 14th in 28:17 and Belal Ahmed 15th in 28:18.

Two other Hercules Wimbledon runners Finn Johnson (20th in 28:36) and Dimos Evangelides (25th in 28:49) completed the course inside 29 minutes. Richard McDonnell (32nd in 29:16), Alex Robinson (39th in 29:27), and Will Russell (44th in 29:43) completed the scoring team of 10.

A total of 29 Hercules runners were among the 250 to complete the course.

Result: 1st Hercules Wimbledon 218 points; 2nd Kent AC 247; 3rd Thames Hare & Hounds 327; 4th Herne Hill 398; 5th Ranelagh 490; 6th Belgrave 493; 7th South London Harriers 523; 8th Clapham Chasers 606; 9th Reigate Priory 793.

Standings after two matches: 1st Hercules Wimbledon 534; 2nd Kent AC 564; 3rd Thames Hare & Hounds 638; 4th Herne Hill 732; 5th Belgrave 907; 6th South London Harriers 1033; 7th Ranelagh 1077; 8th Clapham Chasers 1160; 9th Reigate Priory 1546.

Several Hercules Wimbledon youngsters were also in action on Mitcham Common.

Henry Silverstein was ninth out of 92 finishes in the joint under-15 and under-17 race and Lloyd Hodgson was eighth out of 49 runners in the under-13 race.

Meanwhile Hercules Wimbledon’s senior women and girls showed good form in the Start Fitness Surrey Ladies League meeting in Nonsuch Park, Surrey.

Hercules Wimbledon Women’s team

The senior women improved on their first match performance at Reigate last month to finish third of the 15 clubs and just missed out on second place. Once again newcomer Cheryl Nolan led the 13 Hercules Wimbledon runners in finishing fifth in 21:51 with Claire Grima 10th in 22:22 and first veteran over 40.

Alex Binley (24th in 23:20), Eileen Brandley (27th in 23:33) and Anne Hegvold (49th in 24:37 and second veteran over-50) completed the scoring team.

Results: 1st Clapham Chasers 67pts; 2nd Thames Hare & Hounds 110; 3rd Hercules Wimbledon 114; 4th Herne Hill 140; 5th Ranelagh 172; 6th Kent AC 173; 7th South London Harriers 179; 8th Belgrave 181 out of 15 teams.

Leading standings after two matches: 1st equal Clapham Chasers & Thames Hare & Hounds 185; 3rd Hercules Wimbledon 249; 4th South London Harriers 272; 5th Ranelagh 307; 6th Kent AC 323.

Best of the youngsters in action were Georgie Clarke and Rebekah Riches who finished fourth and seventh in the under-15 and under- 17 race to lead Hercules Wimbledon to third team place. They will both be in action for Wandsworth on the London Youth Games cross country championships on Saturday.

In the under-13 race, Lauren Armitage and Millie Thorpe were 11th and 16th to lead Hercules Wimbledon to fourth team place.

Hercules Wimbledon provided the winner of the Wimbledon Park junior 2km parkrun on Sunday with Sam Masters crossing the line in 7:29 to lead the 149-strong field home.

This weekend, Hercules Wimbledon’s cross country runners are in North London and Northern Ireland.

A trio of Hercules Wimbledon runners – Pete Giles, Anna Garnier and Justin Reid are competing in the Home Countries Masters cross country international in Londonderry on Saturday.

Also on Saturday, a large contingent of Hercules Wimbledon runners will be heading for Parliament Hill Fields.

First off will be a dozen youngsters competing for Merton and Wandsworth in the London Youth Games cross country championships in the morning. In the afternoon, Hercules Wimbledon’s older runners compete in the London women’s and men’s championships over 6km and 10km respectively.


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