Hercules Wimbledon AC round-up: Tough week of fixtures as Cowan boost World Championship hopes

BY TOM POLLAK

Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club’s track and field team faces a tough week of fixtures with the final Southern Athletics League match at Tooting Bec tomorrow followed by the Rosenheim League finals at the Weir Archer Athletics Centre, Kingston next Wednesday.

Dwayne Cowan boosted his chances of making Britain’s IAAF World Championships team for Doha next month with a fine second place in the 400 metres at the European Super League team championship in Bydgoszcz, Poland, last Saturday when he raced to second place in 46.18 seconds.
Cowan is ranked second in the UK this summer with 45.77 in Switzerland at the end of June. A good run at the British Championships in Birmingham, which double up as the trials for Doha, over the August Bank Holiday weekend could seal his spot.

“I was trying to defend the title I won in Lille last time so I went out really hard,” said Cowan. “The Italian boy [who won] is really in good shape but hopefully in two weeks I should be up there.

“It’s been a long, long season and hopefully in a few weeks I’ll get my speed up.

“I am a bit rusty, because I haven’t raced much this year, so I struggled a bit here. I will get better in the next few weeks.”

Hercules Wimbledon are the only unbeaten side in their 17-team Southern League division and will be aiming to make it a clean sweep at Tooting Bec.

Other teams in the match are hosts Herne Hill (fourth), Lewes & Haywards Heath (11th) and Swale Combined (12th).

The men’s team defend the Rosenheim League title they won at Tooting Bec last summer next week while their women will be aiming to complete the double after finishing runners-up to Belgrave in 2018.

Hercules Wimbledon hosted a Night of 5,000m running last week at their Wimbledon Park track and also organised the Perserverance 5km Road Race on Sunday morning.

Two hundred runners took part with Vegan Runners’ Andrius Jaksevicius pulling away 500m from the finish to win in 15:43 from South London Harriers’ Ollie Garrod (15:47) and Woking’s Stephen Blake (16:03). First Hercules Wimbledon finisher was Andrew Thomas (seventh in 16:49).

Top three in perseverance 5km:
L-R Ollie Garrod, Andrius Jaksevicius and Stephen Blake

Runners in the third staging of the Hercules Wimbledon Festival of 5000 Metres meeting were able to race in almost ideal conditions – half of the 119 runners in the seven paced races posted lifetime bests while a further 27 achieved season’s bests.

A quartet of Callan Moody (Serpentine), Andrew Fyle (Belgrave), Jonathan Cornish (Hercules Wimbledon) and Jonathan Escalante-Phillips (Cambridge & Coleridge) broke away early on in the fastest 12-and-a-half lap race until New Zealand international Moody put in a decisive 64-second lap with 1,200m to go. He won by five seconds in 14:17.43.

They’re off in the Perseverance 5km Road race

Fife  – second in 14:22.51 – and top Hercules Wimbledon finisher Cornish (14:24.27) posted PBs.

Fred Slemeck clocked a season’s best of 14:51.34 to finish 16th in the A race.

Mabel-Rose Scales warmed up for this weekend’s South of England age-group championships at the Julie Rose Stadium, Ashford, by turning out in three events at an open meeting at the David Weir Leisure Centre, Sutton, on Sunday.

The 12-year-old, who tops this summer’s UK U13 girls high jump rankings with 1.60 metres, was second in the long jump, sixth in the 100m and seventh in the 200m. Her sister Willow, 10, posted PBs of 3.93 and 14.75m in the long jump and javelin. She was second in her 70m hurdles race.

Seven Hercules Wimbledon competitors had a successful time at the British Masters Championships in Birmingham.

Septuagenarian Pete Giles gained a hat-trick of gold medals taking the over-75 800m, 1,500m and 3000m.

Lisa Thomas gained a double in the over-50 400m and 2,000m steeplechase and was second in the 400m hurdles and Anna Garner won the over-60 1,500m. A seventh gold medallist was Dominic Bokor-Ingram who took the over-50 400m. He was third in the 200m. Two other medallists were Helen Davies and Paul Wignell who took bronze in the over-45 800m and over-65 400m.


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