By Geoff Jerwood
Katie Snowden claimed an excellent British Indoor Championship 1,500m silver medal in Birmingham on Sunday.
And the day after her Herne Hill club-mate Chloe Tighe won an unexpected bronze medal at the Australian National Championship racing outdoors on the Gold Coast track which will be the venue at which Snowden will represent England in the Commonwealth Games in April.
Snowden controlled her 1,500m heat beautifully from the front to hold off fellow international Hannah England to win her heat in the last race of the day on Saturday at Arena Birmingham.
In the final she also raced superbly in the famous red-and-black Herne Hill colours and was beaten only by the in- form and experienced World Championship 5,000m finalist Eilish McColgan.
Snowden can take away some very strong positives from a good performance as well as her first senior national medal in her build-up to the Commonwealth Games.
Tighe’s opposition included three Olympic silver medallists and another strong contender who was defending her national title.
She has been back in her native Australia since Christmas after two years living in London, but retains her Herne Hill Harriers membership and coach. Her fastest time prior to returning to Australia had been 4:18, but two weeks previously this was lowered to 4:15.94 when winning the New South Wales title.
Next up was the Australian Championship where she qualified automatically from her heat in 4:13.91 before finishing third in the final in a brilliant 4:11.12.
Also in Birmingham, Herne Hill sprinter Kristal Awuah, 18, finished a marvellous fifth in her first national women’s senior 60m final in a PB time of 7.36 to increase her dominance at the top of the UK under-20 rankings heading into next weekend’s England Indoor Championship for her age group.
Nicholas Atwell raced in the men’s 400m heats with a good time of 48.56 to place third, but this was not quite enough to progress to the semi-finals. Fiona de Mauny made her British Championship debut at the age of 35. A season’s best 800m time of 2:16.37 to place sixth in her heat bodes well for the European Masters Champs in Madrid next month. As well as the oldest, Harriers also had the youngest competitor in the women’s 800m heats as Mollie O’Sullivan, 17, placed sixth in her heat.
At the British Universities and Colleges (BUCS) Indoor Champs in Sheffield another Harriers sprinter Marvin Popoola finished fourth in the final of the men’s 60m in a season’s best 6.82 on Friday. Then over the weekend he won the men’s 200m bronze medal with an indoor PB of 21.52.
Julien Allwood placed a good fourth in the men’s triple jump with a season’s best 14.66m and Tayo Andrews cleared 1.85m in the men’s high jump qualifying round. Sarah Grover made it through to the women’s 800m semi-finals with a couple of back-to-back 2.17 clockings in her heat on Friday and semi on Saturday.
Harriers also claimed nine gold medals at the Surrey County Indoors at Carshalton. Sebastian Wilson Dyer Gough won the senior men’s long jump with 6.75m, while in the under-15 boys’ long jump Ignatius Abebrese won gold with a best jump of 5.49m. Also in this same age group, Clayton Mytil won the 60m hurdles in 9.53 and Kai Broadbent was a clear winner of the shot put with 11.46m. Long jumping was a rich source of gold at this meeting as under-13 boy Dante Clarke (4.56m) and under-17 woman Ore Adamson (5.73m) were also county champions. Lakeisha Owusu-Junior prevailed in the under-20 women’s 60m by one hundredth of a second in 7.85, while Sophie Williams won the under-15 girls high jump in 1.45m and Sapphire Haley the under-13 girls 60m, the latter with a championship-best performance of 8.08.
Also indoors at Lee Valley at the Southern Counties Veterans AC Championships, M55 Gary Ironmonger had a busy great afternoon of racing with his treble of 800m (2:16.42), 3000m (9:52.99) and 1,500m (4:46.20). Dan Hallam (M40) and Andrew Simms (M50) clocked 2:23.81 and 2:30.84 in their respective 800m races.
Simon Coombes clocked 73:51 for second place at the Milton Keynes Winter Half Marathon, just a few seconds faster than Carl Delaney whose first attempt at the distance saw him place seventh in the Hampton Court Half Marathon in 73.54 on a mainly towpath surface.
Joffah Ratcliffe, 50, recorded a PB at the Wokingham Half Marathon with his 77:43 ahead of Jack Brotchie (78:58) and Robin Jones (79:02).