BY GEOFF JERWOOD
Herne Hill Harriers youngsters took part in the Club Connect relays prior to the Muller Anniversary Games Diamond League athletics meeting.
A club record five 4x100m relay teams qualified. Herne Hill had never won a Club Connect relay.
Harriers’ U15 girls 4x team of Shania McGrath, Natalia Webb, Niyah Costley and Je’nae James ran superbly and sped around the track in a new club record and fastest time in the year of 48.93 to win from Reading & Havering.
Their time was the fastest in the country this year and the fourth fastest ever by an U15 girls club team.
Harriers’ U13 girls came a superb second with Sapphire Haley just failing to catch Shaftesbury Barnet. The team of Neveah Ricketts, Anna Roughton, Gabriella Enrico and Haley ran the third fastest time by any U13 girls club team in the UK this summer.
Both Herne Hill boys teams placed fourth.
The U13 boys team of David Oteng Ntim, Matthew Opoku, Dwyane Francis and Dante Clarke recorded a season’s best of 50.59 as did the U15 boys team of Oliver Hector, Ryan Kingsbury, Kai Broadbent and Noah Ojumu in 45.61.
The U17 women’s team of Michealla Pottinger, Ciara Hussey, Micheala Mensah and Cara Russell came eighth in 49.95.
In the main Diamond League event Kristal Awuah clocked 11.39 in the women’s 100m.
She was in the Great Britain seniors second team which finished fourth in the 4x100m relay to complete a superb day for the club on the big stage.
Seven female Harriers have now run a sub 4:30 in the 1,500m.
The latest was Charlotte Alexander at the Eltham BMC races on Wednesday. She set a club U17 women’s record of 4:29.44 – finishing just ahead of U20 club mate Ella Newton (4:29.77). Both were just behind senior Georgie Grgec’s 4:27.73.
Eltham’s Mike Cummings ran a season’s best of 1:56.72 in the 800m, as did Katie Snowden with her excellent 2:01.60, reinforcing her position in the UK top-10 women’s rankings for the year to date.
Herne Hill’s U13 and U15 boys and girls teams will compete in the top tier of the Youth Development League Lower section next summer having won their match at Croydon on Saturday to clinch promotion. This division features the top six clubs in the South of England.
The team went into the final match in third place and needing to beat City of Portsmouth AC or Croydon Harriers to gain promotion.
Herne Hill pulled clear in the final hour of the meeting to ensure they finished ahead of City of Portsmouth, who slipped to fourth place on the day, and they nosed ahead of host club Croydon to ensure that both South London clubs were promoted.
In the U15 age group athletes such as Je’nae James (shot put), Eva Holland and Layla Wilkinson (800m), Noah Ojumu (200m) and Kai Broadbent (shot put) all won their events.
Emily Callaghan won the U15 girls javelin with a new PB of more than 34 metres.
In the U13 age group the event winners were Dante Clarke (5.45m long jump), Dwyane Francis (75m hurdles), Christo Chilton and Josh Lee Baum (800m), Zac Crowther (javelin), Sapphire Haley (75m and 150m) and Neveah Ricketts (75m).
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