BY TOM POLLAK
Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club athletes face a busy weekend with runners in action in the London and Surrey Schools Championships in Battersea Park and at Kingsmeadow respectively, as well as the South of England Championships in Bedford.
Teenager Freddie Arkell heads the club’s contingent at the London Schools Championships, where he is hot favourite to win the intermediate boys 200m title to add to the junior boys 100m gold medal he won in 2019.
The St Cecilia’s, Southfields, schoolboy tops the UK U17 rankings for 200m this summer with his 22 seconds clocking at last month’s Lee Valley open meeting. He is almost half-a-second faster than his nearest challenger.
Putney High School pupil Darcey O’Shea, who took the silver medal in last month’s London Schools intermediate girls pentathlon championship at Lee Valley with a PB score of 2,706 points, competes in the intermediate girls long jump at Battersea Park. She leapt a PB of 5.12m at Lee Valley last month to rank among the top 40 in the country this summer.
Sprinter Rechmial Miller, back in this country after eight months in Jamaica, challenges for the senior 100m title at Bedford. In his first race in this country since returning from the West Indies, Miller clocked a season’s best 10.52 over 100m at an open meeting in Mayesbrook Park, Barking, last month.
Ryan Facey, who also contests the distance at Bedford, clocked 10.84 for 100m at Kettering at the end of May. It was his first race since August 2019.
Endurance runner Georgie Clarke will also be competing at Bedford, over 1,500m, to strengthen her claim to a London team place for the English Schools Championships in Manchester next month.
The 17-year-old, a pupil at Emmanual School in Wandsworth, clocked a PB of 4:41.69, just inside the English Schools senior girls qualifying time of 4:42.00, competing at a British Milers Club meeting in Street, Somerset at the end of last month.
Seventy-nine of the club’s 154 runners in their Wimbo Distance Night posted personal best times last week.
Elliot Giles, from Birmingham club Birchfield Harriers, won the top race of the evening, an invitation 1,500m. Giles, who competed for Britain at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and the World Championships in 2019, clocked 3:40.36 to beat Croydon’s Dominic Nolan (3:44.72).
Fastest of the 27 Hercules Wimbledon runners in the 1,500m races was Charlie Eastaugh, who clocked a PB of 3:45.45 to finish fifth of the 12 runners in the invitation race. His time improved on his PB of 3:53.77 set in July 2019. It followed his 5km road race win at Battersea Park a fortnight earlier when he also clocked a PB of 14:18.
Eighteen of the club’s 26 runners in the other six 1,500m races posted PBs. Fastest was Fred Slemeck (3:57.58), who was fourth in his race. George Mallett, who was 11th behind Slemeck, took just under a second off his previous best finishing 11th in 4:08.98.
Lulu Weisz was the fastest U17 woman on the night, finishing fifth in the third race in 4:49.89, eclipsing her PB of 4:57.70 set last summer.
Sam Dyson showed a massive improvement as he got inside five minutes for the first time in clocking 4:56.31, the fastest by an U13 boy on the night. It ranks him 22nd in this summer’s UK boys U13 fastest times.
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