It was another outstanding weekend on the national stage for HW athletes, especially the Under 15s, with a gold medal-winning performance by Freddie Arkell in the U15 200m at the England U20/U17 and U15 Indoor Championships in Sheffield and an impressive performance by the Girls U15 team at the English Cross Country Championships.
It seems the Club have another talented young sprinter to follow in the footsteps of Theo Etienne, Rechmial and Chad Miller (who have all competed at international level) and U17 Jaleel Roper.
Fresh from winning two gold-medals in the 60m and long jump at the Surrey County Championships the previous weekend, 14-year-old Arkell, competing in his first-ever national Championships showed he wasn't overawed by the occasion as he not only took gold in the 200m, but bronze in the 60m too.
After winning his 200m heat in 23.23 seconds (a big improvement on his previous best of 24.1 posted last July) he established himself as favourite, emerging the fastest of the five qualifiers. In the final he went even faster, storming to a clear victory by almost a metre in 23.10, a win that also shot him to the top of the UK U15 200m rankings for the year.
The previous day he won his 60m heat in 7.40, the third fastest time of the 24 qualifiers for the semi-finals. He won his semi-final in a personal best of 7.34 and was again the third fastest of the eight qualifiers for the final, in which he improved even more, clocking 7.32, just one-hundredths of a second off the silver medal position. His time ranks him sixth in the UK in his age group over 60m this year.
It was a great weekend all round for the seven-strong HW contingent in Sheffield. The youngest, 12-year-old Mabel-Rose Scales, competing against girls up to two years older than her in the U15 high jump, equalled her pb to clear 1.55m, matching the height jumped by the fourth-placed athlete.
Another teenager, Jaleel Roper, who two years ago was Britain’s top U15 sprinter, posted a lifetime best in qualifying for the Men’s U17 60m final. He was second in his heat in 7.14, third in his semi-final in 7.04 and eighth in the final in 7.06.
Emmanuel Adetu and Efe Peters, both in their first season of competition, reached the U15 Boys 60m semi-finals. Adetu was third in his heat in 7.63 and fifth in his semi-final in a pb of 7.61. Peters also reached the semi-finals after finishing fourth in his heat in 7.64. He was fifth in his semi-final in 7.67. Cora Barnett also posted a pb of 8.40 to finish fifth in her U15 Girls 60m heat, while Dhanisha Banee also clocked a pb in her U17 Women's heat, where she was fifth in 8.22.
Meanwhile over in Leeds, the U15 Girls (below) produced the outstanding HW team performance of the English Cross Country Championships at Harewood House on Saturday, finishing a fantastic sixth of the 39 teams, and the top Surrey team to close in. They were led home by Ellen Weir who was 37th of the 362 finishers, covering the 4km course in 16:13. Georgie Clarke was 39th (16:15), with Millie Thorpe 64th (16:32) and Lulu Weisz 94th (17:00) completing the scoring team.
In the Senior Men's race over 12km the HW team, led home by Fred Slemeck, were 24th (6 to score): 71 Fred Slemeck 39:25; 78 Tom Jervis 39:38; 153 Finn Johnson 40:50; 457 David Lewin 44:23; 524 Tom Buckley 45:10; 703 Rob Tuer 46:51.
At the other end of the age scale, HW athletes – sporting unfamiliar Vets AC vests – gained a hat-trick of victories in the English Masters Indoor Inter-Area meeting at Lee Valley. Lisa Thomas won the W50 400m in 66.81 and was fourth in the 200m in 31.07, Mark White won the M50 200m in 25.80 and was third in the 400m in 58.90, while Anna Garnier won the W60 800m in 2:57.84.
Congratulations to the men's team who took silver in the Wokingham Half Marathon behind a Serpentine team which contained two HW 2nd- claimers, Andy Greenleaf and Xavier Gruot. Jonny Cornish finished 9th in 1:07.22 with Jonny Earl (27th in 1:13:30), Kieran White (33rd in 1:14:08) and Keith Scofield (151st in 1:22.17) completing the team.
Congratulations to Zac Purnell and Henry Silverstein on their selection for the U20 Surrey team for the Inter-County Cross Country Championships at Prestwold Hall, Loughborough, on March 9th. Finn Johnson and Fred Slemeck are included in the Senior Men's team. Johanna Tofte has been selected for the U17 Women's team and Claire Grima for the Senior Women's team.
Saturday 23 Feb: Saucony English Cross Country Championships, Leeds Full results
Sunday 24 Feb: English Masters Area Challenge, Lee Valley Full results
Saturday 23/Sunday 24 Feb: England U20/U17/U15 Championships, Sheffield Full results
Sunday, 24 Feb: Wokingham Half Marathon Full results