BY GEOFF JERWOOD
Herne Hill Harriers’ women finished second in the second round of matches in the UK Women’s Athletics League on Saturday – with the men coming sixth in the British Athletics League.
Both matches took place at Kingsmeadow Stadium.
The women were only a point behind Liverpool while their male counterparts were able to climb off the bottom of the standings.
Zoe Tompkins had a mixed day, starting out with an unexpected long jump as she filled in for a no-show, then she was harshly disqualified for an alleged false start in the A 400m hurdles. Her day got better as she was a runaway winner of the 2,000m steeplechase in 7:28.40 and almost immediately afterwards ran a cracking third leg in the 4x400m relay to hand over a good lead with her split of 59.7.
Helena Corbin and Aimee Hargreaves were also on the track for three races each as both paired up in the 800m (second A and B respectively in 2:15.57 and 2:22.78) and 400m (Corbin third in the A race with 60.37 and Hargreaves fourth in the B with 66.01). Hargreaves also squeezed in a cheeky B string 3,000m win (10:59.96) while Corbin anchored the winning 4x400m relay team comprised entirely of middle distance runners.
Katie Kedward won the B 400m hurdles in 76.54 and was second in the A 3,000m in 10:51.37 while Ella Newton (4:41.14) and Fiona de Mauny (4:45.68) were allowed “only” 1,500m and 4x400m after they had run multiple events at previous fixture. They placed first and second overall in the 1,500m and then combined to win the relay with Tompkins and Corbin, de Mauny’s dive for the line at the end of the first leg of the relay seeing her go sub-60 with 59.9.
Esther Fuja secured a very close A string 100m win in 12.53 followed by a clear 200m B string victory in 26.35. Lilian Matamola won the B 100m by the same narrow margin of two hundredths of a second in 12.89 as Fuja in the A race.
Eleanor Smith-Hahn was second in the A string 200m in 25.40 and Fuja and Smith-Hahn linked up with Vanessa Grant and Michelle Watson to place second in the 4x100m relay as the Harriers track section of the team scored more points than any others in the track events.
Michella Obijiaku warmed up for next week’s European U23 championship in Sweden where she will represent Italy in the shot put by winning the shot and discus with 14.94m and 39.03m. She placed third in an exceptional hammer contest in which the winner broke the division record, Obijiaku’s best throw being a good 53.55m.
Ore Adamson was a convincing winner of the A long jump with 5.81m. Jen Sheasby was second in the pole vault with 2.70m and further demonstrated her value to her new club team by filling in at javelin and triple jump. Charlotte Nicholls placed third in the B hammer with 27.13m. Kathleen Moeller was sixth in the B javelin and Sharon St Luce filled the same position in the B shot.
In the men’s fixture it was again the track events where Herne Hill excelled – the second-highest scorers in those events.
Marvin Popoola, the fastest sprinter in the history of the club, won the A 100m in 10.62 and was narrowly beaten in a good A 200m race with 21.66 against a strong headwind before producing an anchor leg for the 4x100m relay team in which he passed several runners in the straight to claim what appeared an unlikely win at halfway. Byron Robinson’s points haul was opposite to Popoola’s as he lost a very close B 100m race to finish second on the line with the same time of 11.10 as the winner and then left nothing to chance with a clear B 200m win in 22.03, also against the wind.
Mike Cummings has run a lot of BAL races and has waited a long time to get his first A string victory, but Saturday was the day. He superbly executed his win in 3:59.16, with Lewis Laylee making it a great HHH 1,500m day by winning the B string in 4:05.86.
Rushane Thomas finished a long way ahead of his A string 110m hurdles opponents (14.73).
Seb Wilson Dyer Gough produced the other Herne Hill win of the day in the long jump (6.79m).
Michael Wheeler placed second in the A shot put (14.94m) with Stuart Thurgood third in the A hammer with a season’s best 50.42m.
Isaac Ogunlade is returning to fitness and racing form as witnessed by his third place in the A 400m hurdles (56.17) and third in the B 400m (50.86). Morgan Lewis prepared for this coming weekend’s English Schools Championship in Birmingham by placing third in the B long jump with 5.91m.
Angus Butler placed fourth in the B 800m (1:57.77), his fastest time for 10 year.
Arlo Ludewick (U20) ran his fastest 5,000m time (15:49.25) on a hot and humid afternoon, backed up by Josh Pewter (16:23.46).
John Foxall made his BAL debut with a warm up run over 400m hurdles in 76.39 then ran a PB 3,000m steeplechase of 11:04.10, backed up by an out of sorts Jeff Cunningham.
Butler (55.3 split) and Ludewick (56.3 not long after his 5,000m) contributed to our 4x400m team.
After Ogunlade had run the third leg, Peter Phillips ran a strong solo anchor leg in 50.5 after earlier placing sixth in the A 400m in 50.20.