Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club’s youngsters were the standout performers on a weekend of league cross country racing. They provided both individual winners in the opening Surrey Ladies League youngsters race in damp and overcast conditions at Priory Park, Reigate, writes Tom Pollak.

Led in by teenager Ellen Weir, the girls under 17 squad took the individual and team honours in the two-and-a-half miles race. Weir was dominant as she achieved an impressive breakthrough winning a Surrey League race for the first time after finishing runner-up in last season’s final event at Croydon.

The Hercules Wimbledon youngster crossed the line in 15 minutes 45 seconds, well clear of her closest challenger, Martha Collings of Woking (16:09) with her Hercules Wimbledon clubmate Georgie Clarke third in 16:17. Niamh Thompson was 10th in 18:17 with Selma Hegvold 13th in 19:06. Rebekah Riches led the B team to fifth place finishing 14th in 19:07.

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Hercules Wimbledon took the under 17 team honours with 27pts ahead of Epsom & Ewell (62) and South London Harriers (69).

The under 15 team took third spot led in by Lulu Weisz who was a fine second in her age group in 16:53 improving on her previous best league placing of fifth in Nonsuch Park last November. Millie Thorpe was ninth in 17:17., Millie Doyle 17th in 17:58 and Georgia Winter 22nd in 18:22.

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Top Hercules Wimbledon finisher in the under 13 two miles race was Sophie Thorpe, 19th in 14:08 leading the team to sixth place. Charlotte Conway (25th), Sophie Conway (26th) and Miona Ivanovic (27th) completed the team.

Seasoned marathon runner Claire Grima led the senior women’s team home finishing eight of the 232 runners in 25:12. Jessica Prior, making her Hercules Wimbledon debut, was 19th covering the four miles in 25:57 with another Hercules wimbledon debutant, Anna Horgan, 23rd in 26:02.Veteran Gina Galbraith was 37th in 26:44 and the team was completed by superset Lisa Thomas finishing 63rd in 28:03.

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Hercules Wimbledon’s Alex Milne and Jonny Cornish experienced a busy weekend. After competing in the Surrey Men’s League cross country race on Saturday they were in action in the Oxford half-marathon staged in pouring rain the following day. Milner headed home more than 6500 runners in a fast 67:31, winning by almost a minute. Cornish was fourth in 68:55 and a third Hercules Wimbledon runner, Andrew Penney, 13th in 73:21.

With around a dozen of their top runners missing, Hercules Wimbledon made a disappointing start to the defence of their Surrey League cross country title finishing runners-up to Kent AC in drizzly conditions on Effingham Common. First Hercules Wimbledon finisher was Tom Jervis who was sixth of the 228 runners covering the five miles course in 25:48 with Milne eighth in 25:56 and cornish 15th in 26:20. Finn Johnson ran strongly to take 18th place in 26:31, two places ahead of Fred Slemeck (26:35).

Matthew Richards (27:07) and Dimos Evangelidis (27:08) were 37th and 38th and Joe Clark (27:23) and Joe Toomey (27:28) 43rd and 44th. There was then a long gap beforeWill Russell completed the scoring 10 finishing 81st in 28:37. Twenty-three Hercules Wimbledon runners finished the senior race.

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This weekend, Hercules Wimbledon’s oldies are competing in the Surrey Veterans Cross Country Championships which are being held in Morden Park for the first time. The women’s and men’s over 60 6km race is at 2pm with the men’s 10km championship starting at 2.45pm. Also on Saturday, Hercules Wimbledon will also have teams in action in the South of England cross country relay championships at Wormwood Scrubs for the first time.