While Hercules Wimbledon’s Dwayne Cowan was helping the British 4x400m relay team qualify for IAAF World Championships in Doha in September, other club athletes were in action in the annual Surrey track and field championships in Kingston over the weekend, writes Tom Pollak.

Cowan, Britain’s second fastest 400m runner in 2019, ran the second leg for the team which finished fifth in the IAAF World Relay Championships in Yokohama, Japan, to clinch an automatic place in the Doha line-up.

Meanwhile, sprinter Ryan Facey lifted his first Surrey title when he stormed to victory in the senior men’s 100 metres championship at Kingston on Sunday.

Just 16 months after making his sprinting debut with Hercules Wimbledon, 20-year-old Facey proved himself the fastest sprinter in the county by storming to victory in the 100m final in a lifetime best of 10.78 seconds, into a slight headwind, and winning comfortably finishing five metres ahead of the silver medallist. He established himself as firm favourite to take the title after posting the fastest heat time winning his first round race in 11.00.

Surrey Comet:

Facey’s winning time improved on his 10.84 set at the England under 20 championships in Bedford last July. He bounced back after suffering heartbreak on Saturday where he lost out in the 200m by nothing more than a hairsbreadth. He was second fastest of the eight qualifiers from the heats winning his race in 22.51 to take half-a-second off his previous best time for the distance.

In the final he was just pipped to the line although the photo-finish team could not split their times and they were both given 22.05, another big improvement for Facey. Hercules Wimbledon official Sheila White, who was in the photo-finish team, said: “It was hard to split them but there was just a hairsbreadth in it. I felt so sorry for Ryan.”

Busiest Hercules Wimbledon athlete at the two-day meeting was all-rounder Mark Andrews. He picked up two gold medals winning the senior hugh jump and triple jump and took silver in the 400m hurdles, He was also fourth in the 110m hurdles and fifth in the discus. Unfortunately, Andrews strained a hamstring in the sprint hurdles.

Youngest Hercules Wimbledon athlete in action was 12-year-old Mabel-Rose Scales who comfortably retained her girls under 13 high jump title with a leap of 1.50m, 15 centimetres ahead of the silver medallist and a big improvement on her winning 1.43 metres leap 12 months earlier.

However, her dad, John, a member of Wimbledon’s 1988 winning FA Cup team, was critical of the delays during the competition and felt Mabel-Rose might have improved on the championship record had the officials been more efficient. “They took an eternity measuring the bar when she cleared 1.50m and was attempting 1.55m which would have been a new Surrey record. It killed all the momentum of the competition,” he said.

Elsewhere, Sean Hall, the 2017 champion, having his first race for two seasons following injury, just missed out on a medal in the 800m final where he was fourth. Fred Slemeck took silver in the 5000m to upgrade the bronze medal he won when he last ran in the track championships in 2017. Jonny Earl was fourth.

Tom Drayton also took the silver medal in the under 20 men’s 3000m on his Surrey championships debut. Ellen Weir raced to the silver medal in the women’s under 17 3000m, the first time she raced over the distance on the track.

Ross Franks, making his Surrey debut, took the 1500m bronze medal. Jenny Steinitz was also third in the senior women’s long jump and fourth in the 100m hurdles. Teenage sprinter Emmanuel Adetu edged out his Hercules Wimbledon club mate Efe Peters to take the bronze medal in the boys under 15 100m final after only just qualifying for the final as the eighth fastest in the heats. Peters, who was the second fastest qualifier winning his heat in 12.24, finished fourth in the final in 12.08, three-hundredths of a second behind his club mate.

However, they reversed their finishing positions in Sunday’s 200m where Peters took bronze with Adetu in sixth place. Hercules Wimbledon’s youngest sprinter in action, Shawn Bell, raced to a bronze medal in the under 13 100m final on Sunday.

Sam Hitchings just missed out on a medal taking fourth place in the hammer as did sprinter Jaleel Roper who was fourth in the under 17 200m. Hercules Wimbledon’s Celeste Jore Minkwe was also fourth in the under 13 girls long jump while Georgie Clarke was fifth in the under 17 women’s 1500m final and Rebekah Riches and Selma Hegvold were fifth and sixth in the under 17 800m final. Dhanisha Banee was fourth in the under 17 200m final and sixth in the 100m. Leah Syme was also fourth in the under 17 women’s high jump.

Hercules Wimbledon face a busy weekend with the club hosting a Southern Athletics League match at their Wimbledon Park athletics stadium on Sunday, starting at 11am, while the previous day a squad of youngsters will be competing in a YDL match at Ware, Hertfordshire. The club’s older athletes are in action in their second Southern Veterans League meeting of the season at Ewell Court on Monday evening, starting at 6.30pm, while both men’s and women’s teams are in action in the second of this season’s Eastern Division Rosenheim League matches at Croydon Sports Arena next Wednesday, starting at 6.30pm.