Herne Hill Harriers round-up: Teenager Holmes won gold at London Youth Games Cross Country Championship

Caspian Holmes was the standout performer for Herne Hill Harriers at Saturday’s London Youth Games Cross Country Championship races on the challenging Parliament Hill Fields course in north London, writes Geoff Jerwood.

Holmes won gold in the U13 boys race and led his Southwark team to silver medals in what has been an outstanding season.

He had already won the first Surrey League cross country race and was first London athlete and third nationally at the Mini London Marathon, as well as ranking highly in the recent cross country and road relay races, helping his club team to medals or high finishing positions.

The other Harriers individual medallist was Orla Carroll, who placed third in the U15 girls race.

She also continues her good form after winning her Surrey League race on Wimbledon Common a week earlier.

The Lambeth U15 girls’ team with Carroll in third, Sophie Jack seventh and Lily Rose Brown 15th won team gold medals.

There were top-10 positions too for Edward Cunniffe, who was fourth in the U13 boys’ race behind Holmes, Orla Wright was fifth in the U15 girls’ race, Alex Wilson came sixth in the U15 boys, Sophie Jack was seventh U15 girl and Max Gillies was seventh U11 boy. Florence Mills was hurt when trampled on at the start but came through from the back of the field to finish 16th in the U13 girls’ race.

The Southwark U13 boys’ team – which included Holmes and club-mate James Clement-Nash (14th) – claimed silver. Isobel McLennan (14th) and Ava Abel (15th) won U11 girls silver with Wandsworth.

Lucas Heath (U13) achieved third place in a Modern Biathlon competition which sealed his qualification for the British Schools Modern Biathlon Championships in March.

Herne Hill senior women and men finished seventh and 14th respectively at the London Cross Country Championship, their races being held straight after the Youth Games event at the same venue.

The women were led by prolific racer Jenny Nandi (22nd), with the scoring quartet completed by Karen Ellison (39th), Kaitlin Hewitt (40th) and Charlotte Kenyon (51st).

Nikki Sturzaker was only one second outside the scoring team in 52nd. Hewitt was also only one second behind Ellison, with the former placing second of all U20 women in the race. The line-up was completed by Lauren Martin (100th), Holly Mammatt (109th), Evie McDermott (122nd), Samantha Whiting (159th), Ellen Walsh (178th) and Alexandra Marginean (192nd).

The men’s 14th-placed team comprised Joe Fenwick (34th), Joe Elliott (67th), Ryan Willmott (118th) and Seve Loudon (122nd).

A further 10 Harriers completed a tough race covering around 10km, these were James Brown (128th), Greg Mills (144th), Pip Bennett (184th), Tim Kerr (188th), Jon Key (194th), Muhamud Haile (207th), Pedro Henrique Pinto (218th), Trevor Chilton (248th), Andrew Georgeson (255th) and Rob Nagorski (287th).

The next race for the senior teams will be the South of Thames 5 miles Cross Country Championship in Lloyd Park on Saturday, November 26.

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