HW's Senior Men’s teams put in some sterling performances at the South of England Six-stage Road Relay Championships at Crystal Palace on Sunday, nailing the double-goal of qualifying two teams for the National Championships at Sutton Park on October 5th, with a top six finish for the A team. Posting the top Surrey team performance, the A team finished bang on target in sixth of the 87 teams. On the first of the 6100km legs, Fred Slemeck stayed calm in the melée to hand over in a solid 31st place, clocking 17:37.15. Despite feeling slightly under-par Ross Franks moved through into 21st place in 17:40.10, handing over to the in-form Jonny Cornish who ran a storming third leg in 17:00.05, the fastest HW time of the day, passing nine runners to take the team up to 12th place.
Alex Milne, making his HW debut, fully justified the reputation he brought with him, moving up to ninth place in the second fastest time of 17:10.80. Marathon man of steel Richard McDowell passed two more athletes on the penultimate leg, clocking 17:19.60 before handing over to Charlie Eastaugh, who drew on the finishing turn of speed we have seen on the track this summer to bring the team home in sixth place in 17:31.05, fending off the anchor leg Kent AC athlete by the thickness of a vest. The team time of 1:44:18.750 was just over three minutes behind that of the winners Aldershot, Farnham & District.
The B team also qualified for the National Championships, finishing 22nd in 1:48.59.300 in a thrilling finish. Tom Drayton clocked 18:31.70 on the opening stage, before Dimos Evangelidis, making something of a habit of running for both the Senior Men and the M40 vets, ran the second leg in 18:10.30, moving through from 49th to 36th place. Finn Johnson gained three more places, posting the fastest time of the team with 17:57.70. Joe Clark (18:27.90) moved up a further six places to take the team to 27th, before Tom Jervis (17:19.90) edged the team into the qualifying place of 23rd. On the final leg David Lewin gave it his all to finish in 22nd in 18:31.80).
A third HW team finished 49th in 1:55:41. Teenager Henry Silverstein handed over in 62nd place (in 18:52.40) to Rob Tuer (18:50.20) who picked up eight places. Vet Andy Parker (19:07.90) overtook five more athletes, handing over in 49th place to Tom Buckley (19:15.40) who gained a further place. Joe Toomey (19:07.75) picked off another four runners, before Matt Gibbons brought the team home in 20:27.10.
The U15 Girls trio of Lulu Weisz (fourth in 11:31.05 over 3100km), Millie Doyle (seventh in 12:15.20) and Millie Thorpe (seventh in 12:09.30) finished seventh out of 49 teams and second from Surrey. The Club also fielded a B team of Eloise Davies (12:18.30), Bailey O’Leary (14:14.65) and Anya Montgomerie (13:33) which finished 42nd.
Over the same distance anchor leg runner Georgie Clarke was the fastest member of the U17W team which finished 10th of the 46 squads. Ellen Weir made a good start, clocking 11:11.60 and handing over in third place; Rebekah Riches who has excelled this summer over 400m and 800m, clocked 13:18.70 handing over in 16th place to Clarke who finished in 11:09.25. The B team of Niamh Thompson (12:33.50), Selma Hegvold (13:21.10) and Alix Baccardax (13:20.60) finished 31st. The U13G team of Freya Doyle (13:44.85), Grace Eminson (14:17.25) and Miona Ivanovic (15:16.15) finished 41st.
The M40 team were led off by Felix Allen (13th in 20:13.85), followed by Mark Cahill (17th in 24:39.00). Andrew Davies held on to 17th in 21:19.05, handing over to Dimos Evangelidis, who, despite having already run for the Senior Men's B team, posted the fastest time of the quartet, clocking 18:20.45 to bring the team home in 10th place. Although the Club were unable to complete an M50 team, Darren Franks ran 21:25.20 in 14th, handing over to Tom Cheetham, who finished in 15th in 23:16.60.
The Senior Women's team, missing Claire Grima and Gina Galbraith, finished in 48th. Susie Slemeck clocked 22:26 on the first leg (4800km) to hand over in 70th place to Emily Chew (21:26.85) who gained eight places. Alison Purnell (20:59.35) moved up another four places before handing over to Lisa Thomas, who overtook ten athletes to anchor the team in the fastest time of 18:40.75.
Sunday 22 September: Southern 6/4/3 Stage Road Relay Championships, Crystal Palace Full results
Alex Milne warmed up for Sunday’s Road Relay Championships by heading home a 605-strong field on Wimbledon Common finishing in 15:54, more than three minutes ahead of the runner-up. Lisa Thomas was second woman home in 20:47. Twenty-six HW runners took part.
David Grima clocked 19:08 to win at Wotton, while Will Woodcock made it a hat-trick of HW wins, heading home the 542-strong field in Bishop’s Park, Fulham, in 15:54.