Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club’s youngsters were the standout performers on a weekend of league cross country racing as they provided both individual winners in the opening Surrey Ladies League youngsters race in damp and overcast conditions at Priory Park, Reigate.
Led in by teenager Ellen Weir, the girls’ U17 squad took the individual and team honours in the two-and-a-half miles race.
Weir was dominant as she achieved an impressive breakthrough to win a Surrey League race for the first time after finishing runner-up in last season’s final event at Croydon.
She crossed the line in 15 minutes 45 seconds, well clear of her closest challenger, Martha Collings of Woking (16:09). Georgie Clarke was third in 16:17, Niamh Thompson was 10th in 18:17 with Selma Hegvold 13th in 19:06. Rebekah Riches led the B team to fifth place, finishing 14th in 19:07.
Hercules Wimbledon took the U17 team honours with 27pts ahead of Epsom & Ewell (62) and South London Harriers (69).
The U15 team took third spot, led in by Lulu Weisz who was a fine second in her age group in 16:53, improving on her previous best league placing of fifth in Nonsuch Park last November. Millie Thorpe was ninth in 17:17, Millie Doyle 17th in 17:58 and Georgia Winter 22nd in 18:22.
Top Hercules Wimbledon finisher in the U13 two miles race was Sophie Thorpe (19th in 14:08), leading the team to sixth place. Charlotte Conway (25th), Sophie Conway (26th) and Miona Ivanovic (27th) completed the team.
Seasoned marathon runner Claire Grima led the senior women’s team home, finishing eight of the 232 runners in 25:12. Jessica Prior, making her Hercules Wimbledon debut, was 19th covering the four miles in 25:57 with Anna Horgan, another debutant, 23rd in 26:02. Veteran Gina Galbraith was 37th in 26:44 with superset Lisa Thomas finishing 63rd in 28:03.
Alex Milne and Jonny Cornish experienced a busy weekend. After competing in the Surrey Men’s League cross country race on Saturday they were in action in the Oxford half-marathon the following day. Milne headed home more than 6,500 runners in67:31, winning by almost a minute. Cornish was fourth in 68:55 with Andrew Penney 13th in 73:21.
With around a dozen of their top runners missing, Hercules Wimbledon made a disappointing start to the defence of their Surrey League cross country title, finishing runners-up to Kent AC on Effingham Common.
Their first finisher was Tom Jervis, sixth out of 228 runners. He covered the five-mile course in 25:48 with Milne eighth in 25:56 and Cornish 15th in 26:20. Finn Johnson took 18th in 26:31, two places ahead of Fred Slemeck (26:35).
Matthew Richards (27:07) and Dimos Evangelidis (27:08) were 37th and 38th with Joe Clark (27:23) and Joe Toomey (27:28) 43rd and 44th. Will Russell completed the scoring 10 finishing 81st in 28:37.
Hercules Wimbledon are competing in the Surrey Veterans Cross Country Championships on Saturday in Morden Park. The women’s and men’s over-60 6km race is at 2pm with the men’s 10km championship starting at 2.45pm.
The club will also have teams in action in the South of England cross country relay championships at Wormwood Scrubs for the first time on the same day.
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