Six of the best

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The senior men’s cross country team produced another top class performance to finish sixth in the 15km South of England Cross Country Championships on Parliament Hill on Saturday and underline their recent consistency in this event, in which they finished seventh in 2017 and fifth in 2018. 

HW were once again the top South London and Surrey club to close in a team, seeing off Thames Hare & Hounds and Kent AC who finished seventh and eighth. First home was Jonny Cornish who clearly revels in the challenge of Parliament Hill Fields. The last time the Championships were staged there in 2017, he was also the top HW finisher in 29th place. This time, despite finishing 39th of the 1100 runners, he was almost three minutes faster in 48:51. Fred Slemeck was just six seconds behind him in 40th place, with Richard McDowell (49th in 49:20), Finn Johnson (50th in 49:27), Belal Ahmed (54th in 49:42) and Joe Clark (89th in 51:17) completing the scoring team of six.

Claire Grima led the Senior Women’s team home in 45th out of the 703 finishers in the 8km championship, with Gina Galbraith in 98th, Eileen Toomer in 102nd and Monika Crouse in 336th.

Above: first HW man home, Jonny Cornish; and right: the Senior Women’s team

Above: first HW man home, Jonny Cornish; and right: the Senior Women’s team

In the U20 Men's Championship over 8km, teenager Zac Purnell (below) continued to show his improved form, finishing 30th out of 116 runners and third Surrey runner in 27:18, with Henry Silverstein, the only other HW U20 runner, in 80th. Zac will be hoping his result is enough to clinch a place in Surrey’s team for the UK Inter-Counties Championships at Loughborough in March. Former HW team-mate Tomer Tarragano, whose first claim club is now Brighton & Hove, claimed the U20 bronze medal.

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Another teenager, Johanna Tofte, finished  28th out of 176 runners in the U17 Women's 5km Championship with Niamh Thompson 55th, Selma Hegvold 89th and Georgina Hanley 151st. Georgie Clarke, continuing her return to racing after injury, led in the U15 Girls team, finishing 29th out of 291 runners with Millie Thorpe 41st, just ahead of Ellen Weir in 42nd, with Eloise Davies 139th. 

Lauren Armitage was 49th out of 316 runners in U13 Girls 3km Championship with Ore Adewale 106th, Indira Ferree 118th and Bailey O’Leary 121st. 

Thomas Beare was top HW finisher in the U13 Boys 3km Championship, finishing 94th out of 330 runners, while Morgan Rennie was the leading HW runner in the U15 Boys Championship over 4.5km, finishing in 92nd out of 296 runners. In the U17 Men's Championship over 5km Daniel Illis was first HW runner home (of 232) in 145th.

Meanwhile a handful of HW athletes were competing in the London Senior & U20 Games at Lee Valley. Amongst them international sprinter Theo Etienne posted his first 60m time of the season, clocking 6.68 to win his race. U23 Rechmial Miller finished 5th in his 60m in 6.79, and Devonte Casely-Hayford second in his race in 7.41. U20 Rebecca Afriyie was sixth in her 60m race with a pb of 8.74, while U17 Dhanisha Banee, who will be competing in the 60m at the England Athletics Under 20, 17 & 15 Indoor Championships in Sheffield later this month, won her 200m race in 27.31.


Saturday, 26 January: South of England Country Championships, Parliament Hill  Full results    Power of Ten
Saturday 26-Sunday 27 January: London Senior & U20 Games, Lee Valley Full results


Away from Parliament Hill, HW runners were in action in various parkruns. Fran Clarke was top woman finisher at Kingston in 20:53. She was 20th overall out of 371 runners, while Anastasia Hancock was sixth woman finisher at Yeovil and Kieran White was second in the Wendover Woods parkrun. Competing down under, Lisa Thomas posted the top age-graded performance when she finished 53rd, and fourth woman, out of 536 runners the Albert parkrun in Melbourne in 21:10.

Hercules Wimbledon