Herne Hill Harriers senior women’s and men’s teams, including some U20s and masters, enjoyed a successful Saturday afternoon on Hampstead Heath, with the female contingent bringing home a collection of medals from the London Cross Country Championships, writes Geoff Jerwood.
On a muddy circuit on Parliament Hill, the scoring A team quartet was led by the ever-improving Jenny Nandi in 11th place of 261 finishers. Another on an impressive upward trajectory is Kaitlin Hewitt, who finished 21st overall and also claimed the female U20 gold medal.
W50 athlete Nikki Sturzaker is a serial medal winner, predominantly in masters events, but on this occasion was also a key member of the senior medal team, finishing 27th and taking home the women’s masters gold medalfor good measure.
The A team was completed by W40 Karen Ellison, another veteran, in 32nd.
Superb back-up came from Charlotte Davies (41st), Helena Keenan (56th), W40 Steph Mitchell (65th), Annabelle Acres (66th), Julia Wedmore (69th), Holly Mammatt (78th), Alexandra Marginean (152nd), W40 Jess Winfield (159th) and U20 Leah Cummins (207th).
The men’s team comprised 16 runners in total, with in-form Andrew Clarke leading the A team of four to 13th. Clarke’s individual position in the race matched the team placing. The remaining scorers were Tom Patterson (26th), Joe Elliott (51st) and U20 Alex Jack (59th).
The squad on the day was completed by Fintan Kearney (73rd), Scott Morrison (89th), Alex Gutteridge (90th), another U20 Sam Maloney (126th), Jamie Brown (151st), Chris Speed (174th), M40 Pip Bennett (188th), Stephen McLeod (195th), Leon Kong (299th), M45 Ian Jack (334th), James Breen-Norris (363rd) and M65 Waldy Pauzers (400th) in a huge field of 445 finishers.
For the second consecutive weekend Columbia University New York student Phoebe Anderson excelled in the NCAA series, placing 29th in the Division 1 finals in Charlottesville.
Anderson, whose family live in Putney, will now hope for selection for the Great Britain U23 women’s team for the European Cross Country Championships in Brussels next month.
She must wait until after this coming weekend’s trial race in Liverpool which she is unable to attend before knowing whether a discretionary team place is made available for her based on her excellent racing performances.
A number of young athletes from the club were left with a cross country free day, disappointed with a missed opportunity to race against the fastest in London.
After being selected to represent their London borough teams at the London Youth Games at the same Parliament Hill venue, this fixture was cancelled on the evening beforehand by the meeting organisers due to what they felt would be deteriorating weather on the day based on the forecasts. In a busy racing calendar it would seem unlikely that the event can now be rescheduled.
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