Hercules Wimbledon's men turn on the style at the Surrey Cross Country Championships (From Surrey Comet)
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Wimbledon Hercules senior men run away with the best team performance for 34 years
Hercules Wimbledon AC's senior men made a flying start to 2013 with the club’s best team performance in the Surrey Cross Country Championships for 34 years.
Even more impressive was that the sextet managed to beat defending champions Herne Hill to take the silver medals behind Belgrave Harriers.
Spearheading the Hercules Wimbledon team were Kieran White and Andrew Penney, who ran together for most of the three-lap race near the front of the 173-strong field.
White managed to edge ahead of Penney in the closing stages to finish seventh in 44 minutes, nine seconds, and boost his chances of running for Surrey in the UK Inter-Counties cross country championships in Birmingham in March. Penney was not far behind, finishing ninth in 44:13.
With James Davis running a superb race to finish 11th in 44:39, Phil Glynn 22nd in 46:32, Matt Sharp 27th in 46:48 and Johnnie Bland, who ran in the senior race after missing the start of the junior championship, 29th in 46:50, Hercules Wimbledon clinched the silver medals with 105 points, four points less than reigning champions and bronze medallists Herne Hill Harriers.
Other leading Hercules Wimbledon finishers were David Grima (45th in 49:01), veteran Peter Lee (46th in 49:07), Alex Urban (54th in 50:09), Sean Crummy (59th in 50:23) and Neil Fraser (64th in 50:53).
In total, Hercules Wimbledon had 16 runners in the race, more than any other club.
Hercules Wimbledon's senior women's team were pipped by just two points for a set of medals and had to settle for fourth spot.
They were led in by Claire Grima who was 16th in 35:04, with Amy Aronson 22nd in 35:54, Zoe Pike 28th in 36:27 and Fran Clarke 48th in 39:03.
Other leading finishers were Monika Crouse (55th in 39:57) and Chloe Hawkins (62nd in 40:21).
Hercules Wimbledon would go on to return from Lloyd Park in Croydon with a hat-trick of team medals.
The women's U17 team of Zoe Illis (ninth in 21:17), Maire Gilmartin (11th in 22:24) and Emma Headley (12th in 22:33), and the men's U17 team of Cassian Hyde (10th in 28:27), Tim Livingstone (14th in 29:11) and Augustin Mallon (30th in 32:21) and Connor Bindler (32nd in 32:58) both secured bronze medals in their respective championships.
The highest placed Hercules Wimbledon runner overall in any of the 10 championships was Liam White who finished fifth in the U20 men's 6.5km race in 27:10.
Elsewhere, Hercules Wimbledon's over-40 veteran Emma Henderson made an impressive debut in the Richmond Park parkrun 5km race where she won the women's event in 20:32.
Meanwhile, Peter Collins was first veteran over-40 finisher in the Wimbledon Common parkrun, when he finished eighth out of 374 runners in 18:52 in the event's sixth anniversary race.
Charles Hampden-Smith was fourth veteran over-50 in finishing 38th in 20:59
This weekend, Hercules Wimbledon are in action in the third of this season's 2XU Surrey Men's cross country league meetings at Ham.
Hercules Wimbledon's track and field training sessions take place at Wimbledon Park athletics stadium on Tuesday and Thursday evenings starting at 6.30pm and Sunday mornings at 10.30am. Further details from coaching coordinator Maurice Sharp on 020 8337 8707.
Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club hold mid-week road running training sessions for marathon, cross country and road runners from Lauriston Cottage, 6a Southside, Wimbledon Common, at the junction with Lauriston Road, every Wednesday evening from 7pm. Contact Pete Mulholland for more details.