Herne Hill Harriers athletics round-up: Silver medals for U20 women at National Cross Country Relays

BY GEOFF JERWOOD

Herne Hill Harriers U20 women won silver medals at the National Cross County Relays at Berry Hill Park, Mansfield on Saturday.

This event is always a real eye opener and featured a British Doha World Championship athlete in the senior men’s race along with many of the best distance runners in the country in all age groups in one of the biggest and best events on the athletics calendar.

The U20 women’s success came at the start of the day’s proceedings and during the worst of the wet and windy weather.

Katie Balme put herself on the line on first leg, despite little recent training after injury and her 26th place set up Alexandra Brown and Saskia Millard to chase down those in front of them on the remaining legs in awesome fashion.

Balme clocked 9:43 for the slippery and muddy 2.5km circuit. Brown overtook no less than 2- teams as her time of 8:44 was one of the fastest of the race. Millard then chasing magnificently on the final stage moving up from sixth to second with 8:46 as Herne Hill finished just three seconds behind the gold medal team from Wolverhampton and Bilston.
Harriers’ U13 boys and girls finished fourth, superb results in such strong national competition.

The boys were led off by Josh Lee-Baum, who was sixth on the first leg with 7:11, handing over to Oak Buchan, who ran the fifth best time (7:21)  of the second leg runners to hand over in fifth place. The anchor leg was run by Keeran Sriskandarajah. The club’s B team placed 28th of 79 complete teams to finish.

The U13 girls were even closer to the bronze medals, falling just one second short of the podium. Eva O’Hanlon ran first leg, clocking 8:01, followed by Lily-Rose Brown – whose time of 7:56 moved up from 18th to third with the third-quickest split time on her stage.

Sophia Sahai (7:54) was narrowly beaten to the finish line in a great battle with the last leg runner from Stockport Harriers. Sahai was third fastest on her leg in the race. Herne Hill’s B team finished 16th and a C team came 52nd.

The U15 boys A team finished 23rd, with the B team 60th, the U15 girls A team were 32nd and the B team 86th, while the U17 men’s team placed 74th. Maisie Collis ran a good first leg in the U17 women’s race, but was the sole representative from the club in this category.

The senior women were 30th out of 127 complete teams thanks to Sarah Grover, Molly Pocock and Julia Wedmore.

Harriers men’s A team of Angus Butler, Nick Dewar, Andrew Warburton and Brandon Dewar placed 46th of 161 complete teams.

Duane Matthews, Simon Coombes, Josh Pewter and Henry Brown combined very well as the B team placed 70th.

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