BY GEOFF JERWOOD
Herne Hill Harriers enjoyed a storming start to the new year as they won three sets of team gold medals at the Surrey County Cross Country Championships on a muddy and testing course in the Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking.
Harriers won the U13 boys, U15 boys and U15 girls team honours as well as finishing third in the U13 girls and U17 men’s event.
In the first race of the day the U13 boys team was led by Caspian Holmes (fourth), Jack McLennan (sixth), Dylan Gillies (ninth) and Edward Cunniffe (13th) as they won by 20 points.
Cunniliffe, 11, was running in his first U13 race for the club.
In the U15 boys race there was an exciting finish with Keeran Sriskandarajah snatching second place in the final 50 metres supported by Fabien Whitelock (fourth), Alex Wilson (fifth) and Warren Wilson (12th).
The U15 girls were led home by Orla Carroll, who claimed an individual bronze medal. India Blakey was eighth with Vivi Marshall finishing 12th and Eve O’Hanlon crossing the line in 17th.
Orla Wright equalled the club’s highest individual placing of the day in second place in the U13 girls race.
Sophie Jack was tenth, Florence Mills came 15th and Lily Kitto took 23rd place. The U17 men also won bronze team medals through Robin Bebbington (10th), David Aisa Miller (18th), Sam Maloney (28th) and Diego Lister (32nd). The latter two have only just returned from long-term injuries.
The U17 and U20 women raced together, but with championship results recorded separately. Pheobe Bowen placed fifth in the U17 women’s race. Poppy Craig McFeely was a good third in the U20 behind two current Great Britain junior internationals and was the final Harriers athlete to take home a county medal on the day.
US university-based Yasmin Marghini took the opportunity to claim a senior women’s silver medal while home in London for Christmas at a very wet Middlesex cross country championship at Greenford on Saturday.
Herne Hill’s senior men missed out on medals placing fourth – the six scoring runners were Chris Busaileh (12th), Arlo Ludewick (24th), Brandon Dewar (26th), Marc Geraghty (30th), Eoin Brady (33rd) and Jonny Whittall (54th).
Whittall squeezed into the team by catching Ross Brown, who had been Herne Hill’s sixth man right until the finish.
The senior women’s team placed sixth with the four scorers led by a returning Natasha Lodge in 21st, followed by Karen Ellison (28th), Suzanne Swaine (33rd) and Eliza Cottington (44th).
The U20 men’s team was incomplete, with David Moyse (19th) and Jacob Alley (21st) their only representatives.
Main Pic: Under 13 boys.
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