Hercules Wimbledon AC set to clinch senior men’s title this weekend

BY TOM POLLAK

Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club’s cross-country runners will be aiming to make history this weekend by clinching the Start Fitness Surrey senior men’s team title for the first time.

Nothing short of a disaster in the final Division One match at Croydon’s Lloyd Park tomorrow will stop history being made.

Hercules Wimbledon go into the final match with a 216-points lead over reigning champions Kent AC.

The five-miles Division One race starts at 3pm. If everything goes to plan, Hercules Wimbledon will be celebrating victory on Saturday evening and, if so, it will be the first time the club will have taken the Surrey League title since its formation in 1967.

All signs are that Hercules Wimbledon will be at full strength. Leading the attack will be Jonny Cornish – who led the gold and red sash-vested Hercules Wimbledon runners home in the South of England championships at Parliament Hill Fields last month.

Alongside him will be Fred Slemeck, Finn Johnson and Richard McDowell.

Team manager Fred Green will miss the event, as he is in New Zealand on a long-arranged family visit.  “We seem to have tremendous team spirit this season,” he said, before he flew out. “Most of the top runners train together in Battersea Park and on Wimbledon Common and go for long 15 mile runs on Sunday mornings. I am sorry I will be missing the celebrations.”

One thing is certain for the senior men who set off on their five-mile cross country battle  – the course will be muddy and slippery.

This is because the Division One race will be preceded by the Division Two and joint Division Three and Four battles.

Three of the club’s sprinters will be in action in the British Athletics indoor championships in Birmingham over the weekend. Brothers Rechmial and Chad Miller, plus Theo Etienne, will be flying the club’s colours in the senior men’s 60m.

Rechmial warmed up for Birmingham with a lifetime best in finishing third in a 60m race at an international meeting in Paris last Saturday.

He first sliced one-hundredths of a second off his previous best, set in the British indoor championships in Sheffield back in 2016, in winning his heat in 6.75 seconds, and then went even faster to finish third in the final in a fine 6.70.

The championships are also the trials for next month’s European indoor championships in Glasgow.

Teenager Henry Silverstein completed a hat-trick of wins when he headed home 369 runners in the Wimbledon Common 5km parkrun in 18:07, following victories on his two previous appearances in the event in December.

Peter Collins was fifth in 19:16, with Hector Revill seventh three seconds later. Alex Binley was third woman in 22:19. Jonny Earl led in a 446-strong field in Norwich in 16:43.

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