Hercules Wimbledon round-up: Sweet taste of success in final Surrey Ladies League meeting

BY TOM POLLAK

Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club’s cross country runners enjoyed an outstanding day of success in the final Start Fitness Surrey Ladies League meeting at Lloyd Park, Croydon, on Saturday.

They were the only club in the league to end the season to finish in the top three in all four age categories.

Top of the pile were the girls’ U15 team. Led in by Georgie Clarke, now fully recovered from a heel injury, they took the overall team title. The icing on the cake was that Clarke, who goes to Emanuel school, Wandsworth, and missed eight weeks of the season because of her injury, also took the individual title.

Hercules Wimbledon ‘s Georgie Clarke top U15 girl

She started cautiously but went ahead about a third of the way round the 4km course to win convincingly in 15:21 seconds.

Team-mates Ellen Weir and Millie Thorpe were third and fourth in 15:42 and 15:44 respectively.

Millie Doyle completed the scoring team, taking 10th place in 16:36.

Clarke’s next race will be competing for London in the English Schools cross country championships in Leeds later this month.

Hercules Wimbledon also took the team honours in the women’s U17 race. They were led in by Johanna Tofte, who posted her best performance of the season to finish second in 16:22. With Niamh Thomson fourth in 16:44, Selma Hegvold fifth in 17:23 and Georgia Hanley 13th in 19:07, Hercules Wimbledon secured second place overall for the season.

Hercules’s senior women also finished strongly to take overall third spot for the season.

Going into the final match in fourth spot, the runners knew they had to put in a solid performance to secure their target of a top-three finish.

They were led in by marathon runner Claire Grima who was 11th of the 209 runners in 31:15. She also took the individual award for the season as the top veteran performer. Eileen Toomer, in her final race for Hercules Wimbledon before flying off to join husband Ben in New York, 17th in 32:44, Gina Galbraith 22nd in 33:08, Victoria Johnston 39th in 34:35 and Lisa Thomas 60th in 35:39, Hercules Wimbledon finished third on the day to overtake Clapham Chasers for third position for the season.

Twenty of the 45 Hercules Wimbledon runners in action were competing in the girls U13 3km race where the team also finished third.

They were led in by Lauren Ermitage, 12th of the 61 runners in 13:08, just eight seconds ahead of club-mate Indira Isabella Ferree who was 16th with Ore Adele 26th in 13:41 just ahead of Bailey O’Leary (27th in 13:43), Sophie Thorpe (29th in 13:49) and Anya Montgomerie (31st in 13:51).

Hercules Wimbledon’s road runners took the team silver medals in the Wokingham half-marathon in Berkshire. Jonny Cornish was ninth of more than 2,000 runners in 1:07:22, Jonny Earl 27th in 1:13:30, Kieran White 33rd in 1:14:08 and Keith Scofield 151st in 1:22:17. Claire Grima was fourth woman finisher in 1:19:20 and second in the veterans over-40 category.

Teenager Henry Silverstein headed home a 530-strong field in the Wimbledon Common 5km parkrun on Saturday in 17:52. Fellow teenager Finlay White was seventh out of 693 runners in Newcastle in a PB of 17:49, taking 17 seconds off his previous best set last October. Robbie Hynes was fourth out of 554 runners in Burgess Park in 17:05.

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