Herne Hill Harriers round-up: Kristal Awuah sensational in European indoors – and she’s quickest GB teen EVER over 60m

BY GEOFF JERWOOD

Kristal Awuah put in a sensational performance at the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow – making her the fastest-ever teenager in Great Britain over 60 metres.

The Herne Hill Harriers star, still only 19, has already claimed a bronze medal at the British Indoor Championships in Birmingham last month, then acquitted herself well against some of the best in the world in the Muller Grand Prix meet at the same venue a week later.

She could not have came any closer to a bronze medal in a continental senior championship last weekend unless she had shared the medal with team-mate and experienced defending champion Asia Phillip.

The photo finish awarded Awuah with fourth place on Saturday evening as she missed out on a medal by one thousandth of a second.

Awuah is the fastest-ever teenager in GB over 60m with her 7.15, usurping European outdoor 100m and 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith at the top of this particular tree. Her time is a Harriers club senior women’s record.

Great Britain’s Kristal Awuah (centre) during the Women’s 60m semi final during day two of the European Indoor Athletics Championships at the Emirates Arena, Glasgow.

That her coach Matthew Thomas is doing a stellar job was further underlined by performances from her training partners over the weekend. Lakeisha Owusu-Junior (U20) placed a very good second wearing her first England vest at the Welsh International meet in Cardiff, running 60m in 7.62, while Chira Hussey recorded a PB of 7.68 at her race meet.

Michaela Obijiaku is rewriting the Herne Hill club record book as well as two school records in different events at her college in the USA. She won the weight throw with 19.76m then placed second in the shot put with 16.10m  – a huge PB and a new club women’s record for the event.

Herne Hill got off to a slow start in the Surrey Ladies League cross country season, placing only fifth. Southern cross-country women’s champions Thames Hare and Hounds had a 111-points head start.

But with wins in the next two races, Harriers were 31 points in arrears going into the finale at Lloyd Park on Saturday.

Herne Hill won on the day for the third time, led by Stacey Ormerod and the returning Georgie Grgec – demonstrating their quality by placing first and second.

Grgec ran her first race since August after a winter of injury frustration. Liv Stillman raised eyebrows a week earlier in Leeds – on her return from injury she led Harriers’s U20 women to national team gold medals – and this week impressed even more on her senior debut, placing a fabulous sixth.

Jordan Foster finished a good eighth and Sarah Grover closed a superb A team in 15th.

The final saw Herne Hill 20 points short of top spot.

Ormerod was able to claim the accolade of overall individual winner of Division One with her third, first and first in her three races. Katie Balme was best U20 woman over the season and Fiona de Mauny was third overall among the female masters across the season.

The B team were comfortably ahead of all the other B teams. Suzanne Swaine (27th), Nikki Sturzaker (34th), Katie Kedward (35th), Lara Langston (37th) and Fiona Nicholson (94th)  provided the team back-up needed to ensure that squad goals are attained.

Herne Hill hosted the Frank Harmer 10km road race in Brockwell Park on Sunday morning.

Andrew Clarke took the win in 34:27 to head a show of local club dominance with eight Harriers men in the first 11 finishers.

It was a good turnout with Nick Bester second, Simon Coombes fourth, Jeff Cunningham fifth (after winning the East Surrey League race in Lloyd Park the day before), Josh Pewter sixth, Jack Brotchie eighth, Eoin Brady ninth, and Angus Butler 11th. Jonathan Ratcliffe was first over-50 in 13th place.
Sturzaker was second woman.

Helena Corbin recorded her first sub-18 minutes as she clocked 17.59 to finish first woman in Burgess Park parkrun.

Harriers’ U11’s made their mark. At the final rearranged Surrey Ladies League fixture in Lloyd Park, Lily-Rose Brown, 10, finished third overall in the U13 girl’s race but was amazingly too young to be a team scorer.

Other Herne Hill U13 girls competing were Johanna Nicholson eighth and second overall in the league, Eva O’Hanlon (14th), Vivi Marshall (17th), Madison Ogilvie (21st), Annabella Bailey (23rd), Rosalie Laban (30th) and Grace O’ Hanlon(35th).

The following day at the Final Downs League Match at Epsom Downs, U11’s Frederick Hake and Sophia Sahai were crowned overall champions in their respective boys and girls races over the four Matches. Hake was the first boy home in every fixture but Sahai had to settle for second in Sunday’s match. Lucy Wright finished third overall, also enabling HHH U11 girls to be crowned overall champions. The U15 boys retained their trophy with Harvey Kande (fourth) backed up by Joe Roberts and David Aisa.

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