The first weekend of the year traditionally sees many athletes head to their respective county championships with a large contingent of Hercules athletes succeeding across their counties of birth or residence.
The majority were at the Surrey County Championships at Denbies vineyard near Dorking on Sunday – with success across the age groups.
Theo Creed led the charge with individual silver as the U13 boys quartet took team gold ahead of Herne Hill Harriers and South London Harriers.
Creed, who finished 17th in this race last year, was 13 seconds adrift of race winner Edward Cunliffe of Herne Hill.
Creed was an impressive 23rd in last year’s English National Championships and will look to improve on that placing in February. He was ably backed up by James Fraser in fifth, only eight seconds off the podium. Both Fraser and Creed have, in the process ,earned the right to represent Surrey for the UK Inter-Counties, held each year in March, this time in Wollaton Park, Nottingham.
Cyrus Sheikh was next home in 18th with Thomas Hennigan completing the Hercules quartet. Special mention should also go to Fredric Bolton, Alex Hughes and Joseph Sutherland, who finished within two seconds of each other to earn places 30 to 32 respectively.
The U13 girls took team bronze with Freia Harper-Tee first home in eighth. Alexandra Bramwell was not far behind in 14th with Freya McAndie 22nd. Blanka Domsodi rounded out the scoring in 33rd with Beatrice Eminson unlucky not to count one place and only a second behind.
Also in the medals were the U20 women’s who took team bronze. Eloise Davies led home the team in eighth with Lulu Weisz 13th, Millie Thorpe 16th and Abbie Grey 22nd.
The final bronze medallists on the day were the senior men, who have stood on the podium for each of the last three years. This time with six to score, brothers George and Ed Mallett finished in sixth and 10th. Richard McDowell, second in the 40-45 age group, was 23rd with Sam Peters 36th. Hector Revill and Joe Clark rounded out the scoring in 46th and 60th respectively.
Notable results elsewhere included a fourth place and county selection for Isabella Harrison, competing for the first year in the U15 age group. Otelia Garcia-Davis in eighth will hope for a discretionary selection. Dillan Quinn was 12th in the U17 Women’s race.
Benjy Street was fifth in the U17 men’s, only 13 seconds off the podium, and should find himself in Nottingham come March.
Competing for the first time since 2003 outside Surrey was former cross-country captain Fred Slemeck, who moved to Winchester in 2022. A Surrey medallist in each of the past two years, he continued the streak to take third at the Hampshire Champs in his new home city.
Rhys Boorman, down in Bexhill on the South Coast, finished a position best seventh in the Sussex Championships, meaning likely four men will head to the Inter Counties from the senior men’s team.
Away from the cross-country, Jean Pascal Laperotine took England Athletics Indoor Para Championships bronze in the shot put, throwing 9.16m to finish more than 1.5m clear of fourth in Sheffield.
Andrew Penney was 12th over 3,000m in 8:20 at the British Milers Club meet held in the same indoor stadium with Charlie Eastaugh ninth in his heat, running 8:31.
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