Hercules Wimbledon on verge of another Surrey League title victory

Hercules Wimbledon’s senior men look set for a fourth Surrey League title in five years as they charged to a dominant victory in the third of four fixtures, this time at Wimbledon Common on Saturday, writes George Mallett.

The defending champions arrived with a healthy lead of 181 points over nearest challengers Belgrave Harriers. Over almost five miles round the woods, Hercules’ 10 counters were within the first 27 as they recorded their lowest score since 2021 – 157 fewer than half that of their rivals.

With the gap now at 339, it would take a spectacular collapse in February in West Horsley to deny Hercules a third straight title.

Making a first appearance in the Surrey League this year, England international Jonathan Cornish led the yellow-and-red vest home in sixth, 68 seconds down on dominant race winner Jack Millar of the home club.

Four seconds behind was cross-country captain James Stockings in eighth, a best in four appearances in the competition.

Brothers Ed and George Mallett were next home in 11th and 12th  respectively, with GB ultra runner Alex Milne only four seconds back in 15th. Henry Silverstein continued the conveyor belt in 17th, narrowly edging out Fred Slemeck. It is a third consecutive top-20 finish for Silverstein and a 34th for Slemeck, whose first came in 2012.

Charlie Wyllie meant it was eight Hercules runners in the top 20, improving 18 places from his last outing in Richmond Park in October. Archie Walton finished 23rd with Alex Sutton scoring for the first time in 27th. Sutton, a talented junior runner returning to the sport, improved 22 places from Richmond Park. Over the course of the campaign 17 different individuals have now scored in a deep Hercules team.

The future also looks bright as the U13 boys were clear winners on the day, in the process moving top of the league past South London Harriers.

Theo Creed matched his performance from the Surrey County Championships the previous Sunday to finish second with James Fraser fourth. Max Harrison in 14th and Thomas Hennigan in 16th rounded out the quartet, with Joseph Sutherland and Alex Hughes unlucky not to score in 17th and 18th respectively.

They were matched by the U13 girls squad who won and also overtook South London Harriers for the league lead. Freia Harper-Tee was first home in third with Alexandra Bramwell six seconds and one place behind. Blanka Domsdodi was 10th with Beatriz-Pina Harper the final scorer in 31st, a few seconds ahead of Sofia Amrani Hussain.

In the U15 girls race, Hercules were second – led by Otelia Garcia-Davis in third with Ava McAndie in seventh. Leah Paulson was 15th with Summer McDougall the final scorer in 21st. They remain second in the league.

It was the same again in the U17 women’s race, with strong packing from Dillan Quinn, Sophia Anderson and Grace Eminson in 10th  to 12th, with Ariana Shala next home in 21st.

The silver continued in the U15/U17 mixed boys race as they maintained their grip on second spot in the league. Benjy Street was seven seconds from winning the race in third with Jack Hobden ninth. Noah Fernandez (13th) and Alexander McGuigan (14th) ensured a runners-up finish.

The senior women were eighth. Their scorers were Claire Grima 36th, Poppy Robson 45th, Matilde Lomba 49th and Philippa Mitchell 51st.


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