Herne Hill Harriers’ round-up: M45 team win silver at British Masters Championship

Herne Hill’s M45 team won silver medals at the British Masters Athletics Federation Championship at Sutton Coldfield on Saturday, writes Geoff Jerwood.

After Herne Hill had led Thames Hare & Hounds for the majority of the 5.1km race, their rivals came through on the last of the four stages to win by 22 seconds, with Leeds City placing third, a further 32 seconds in arrears.

Simon Coombes ran a strong opening leg in 16:50 to lead by seven seconds at the first changeover.

An exciting battle then ensued on the second stage between the two athletes who ultimately ran the fastest overall times of the day, with Thames’ Phil Tedd and Harriers’ Andrew Perfect going head to head throughout.

After Tedd had nudged in front, Perfect came back in the closing stages on the second leg to regain the lead by four seconds. Tedd clocked 16:37 against Perfect’s 16:40 as first and second fastest individuals.

John Kettle ran a committed solo run in 16:51 to extend the Herne Hill lead on the third leg, before former Harriers track steeplechase man Simon Wurr, racing in a Thames vest, overtook Ben Paviour on the final stage to seal the win for Thames after more than an hour of racing.

Paviour did well to clock 17:33 after recently suffering from Covid and then a chest infection.

The Herne Hill team were well worth their bling, with three of the fastest five M45s in the race.

The M55s called in two over-age reserves to ensure a full team of three completed the race after a couple of late withdrawals.

Keith Newton ran a very competitive first stage, finishing quite prominently in 19:17. Veterans team manager Valdis Pauzers, a M65 athlete, took over on the second stage and the team was brought home in 24th place by former junior international Tom Conlon, now 61.

A younger section of the club placed third of eight teams in their first track and field fixture of the season in the UKA Youth Development League for U17 and U20 age groups at Sutcliffe Park on Sunday.

Individual A string event winners in the U20 group were Oliver Hector 110m hurdles (16.91) and 400m hurdles (65.16) and Niyah Costley women’s 100m in 12.10.

Jaydine Robinson won the women’s B long jump with 4.70m, just two centimetres behind Costley who was third in the A string with 4.72m. The U20 women’s sprint relay team produced an emphatic win in the 4x100m in 49.62.

In the U17 men’s events, Harry Bell and Evan Cowell-New claimed a win double in the 3,000m with 10:18.97 and 10:56.87 respectively.

Multi-event athlete Dante Clarke won the long jump with 5.80m and placed second in the 100m hurdles with 14.49, while Keeran Sriskandarajah, back from his big races in Jamaica over Easter, demonstrated his own versatility. Sriskandarajah opted not to contest his more usual event this weekend and instead placed second in the 400m hurdles in 60.81 and second in the B long jump with 5.34m.

The only individual wins in U17 women’s events was an A and B string double in the 1,500m steeplechase for Rosalee Laban (5:54.16) and Izzy Perry (6:02.51).

Both athletes also scored good points for the team in other events, with Laban third in the 80m hurdles with 14.20 and second in the 300m hurdles in 52.09. Perry was third in the discus, throwing 13.24.

Fiona de Mauny placed 10th female at the Bristol Track Club 5km, clocking 18:22 in Bath.

More Harriers masters athletes were in road race action on Sunday.

Jonathan Ratcliffe placed 49th in the Wrexham Elite Marathon and second M50, with his time of 2:52:48 his 71st sub-three hours marathon to date. Robin Jones was 56th overall and seventh M45 in a time of 78:22 in the half-marathon at the same event.

Oliver Morrison placed seventh in the Worthing Runfest 10km (36:06) securing him first place in this age category.

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