Triumph at Tooting
It was celebration time as the HW team clinched the Southern Athletics League Division 3 (South East) title at Tooting Bec on Saturday – and with it promotion. The fifth and final match proved the toughest and most nail-biting of the season, but after a five-and-a-half hour battle with hosts Herne Hill, during which time the lead continually see-sawed between the two Clubs, HW emerged triumphant by just 11 points, and finishing as the only team in the 17-club division to win every match.
It was a stunning team effort in which team manager, Heather Jones, as usual played a major part, competing in seven events, winning the high jump and javelin B, and finishing second in the 100m hurdles and pole vault A, third in the long jump A and triple jump B, and fourth in the hammer B.
The team has received a massive boost with the arrival this season of decathlete and coach Mark Andrews, who despite injury concerns in the last few weeks, was everywhere on track and field as usual, until he took a tumble at the first flight of the sprint hurdles to add to his injury woes. Ignoring the concerns of his team mates, he hobbled through the discus competition to finish in second place and score more vital points to add to those he had already notched up winning the high jump and pole vault and taking second place in the shot and hammer, as well as winning the javelin B.
The men dominated the track events with Ryan Facey and Armani Thomas winning the 100 and 200m A and B races, Hamed Agboke and Andrew Sarpong the 400m A and B races and Charlie Eastaugh taking the 800m by nine seconds, with Ross Franks winning the B race (left). Eastaugh made it a middle-distance double as he took the 1500m A with Jonny Cornish securing maximum points in the B race. Joe Toomey was second in the 5000m A race, with Finn Johnson first in the B race. Lance Power took the 400m hurdles and pole vault B, Andrew Thomas won the 2000m steeplechase A, Agith Naval the high jump B, Denzil Agyeman the long jump B, Pete McLeod the triple jump A, and Ryan Hester the triple jump B.
Gina Galbraith – another athlete who shrugged off injury niggles to turn out yet again for the team – took the 3000 metres A, Alex Binley won the 1500m, 3000m and 2000m steeplechase B, and Ann-Kathrin Mielke won the 100m hurdles B and javelin A.
The men secured the match win with a thrilling relay double. Ryan Facey, Jaleel Roper, Antonio Douglas and Armani Thomas combined in the 4x100m and in the last race Thomas gave it his all to bring the team of Hamed Agboke, Morgan Rennie and Devonte Casely-Hayford home for the win in the 4x400m. It was time for Ryan to uncork the Champagne!
Match result: 1 Hercules Wimbledon 323pts; 2 Herne Hill 312; 3 Swale Combined 108; 4 Lewes & Haywards Heath 87.
Final Division Three South-East standings:- 1 Hercules Wimbledon 25 league pts; 2 Guildford & Godalming 24; 3 Herne Hill 22; 4 Cambridge Harriers 21.5; 5 Hastings 21; 6 Horsham Blue Star 19.5; 7 Sutton 19; 8 St Mary’s Richmond 19. Both Hercules Wimbledon and Guildford & Godalming are promoted to Division Two in 2020.
The Club’s youngsters were in excellent form in the South of England Championships at the Julie Rose Stadium, Ashford. Mabel-Rose Scales retained her U13 Girls high jump title with a 1.45m clearance and Scottie Noel (below left) took gold in the U13 shot with a superb final put of 7.71 metres which rocketed her from fifth to first place. Mabel-Rose just missed out on a second medal, finishing fourth in the long jump with 4.50m.
Freddie Arkell won two silver medals in the 100m (11.53 seconds into a +2.5 headwind) and long jump (6.13m) in which he was in the lead until the fourth of the six rounds. Making her track debut in the Championships, Lulu Weisz sliced half-a-second off her lifetime best to take bronze in the U15G 800m in 2:19.69. Georgie Clarke missed out on a medal by 0.43 seconds, finishing fourth in the U7W 1500m in 4:49.70.
This weekend the Club's international sprinters are in action at the Muller British Athletics Championships in Birmingham. Rechmial and Chad Miller go in the 100m and 200m, Theo Etienne in the 100m and Dwayne Cowan in the 400m. The Championships double as the trials for the World Championships in Doha starting at the end of next month.