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Solomon leaves his mark at Richmond Schools’ Championships

By Henry Fagan

On Friday 2nd December, Hampton’s U20, U17, and U15 teamtravelled across the river to Richmond Park to compete in the Borough Championships, with the aim of qualifying for the Middlesex Championships after the new year. For those familiar with Richmond Park, the course was two loops of Sidmouth Wood; a 2.2km undulating route. Despite the rain the previous few days, the ground was firm – perfect for a fast race.

First out were the U15 team. This race comprised our 1st, 2ndand 3rd year athletes, some experienced with this race, some whose debut it was for Hampton. Leading the charge right from the gun was 3rd year’s Marcus Solomon, the defending champion from last year. In fact, not even for a second did he give up this lead as he literally ran away from his competition, extending the lead to such an extent that he crossed the finish line without any other athlete in sight – a remarkable achievement by Hampton’s prodigy runner. 

Due to scheduling issues, the U17 and U20 races (4th year all the way to upper sixth) were set to run together to save time. Eager to not miss the race entirely like last year, the upper sixth athletes prepared with plenty of time, ready to start the race twenty minutes before. Hampton’s senior athletes put in a stellar performance with at least four Middlesex qualifications and Hampton’s top three runners (Henry Fagan, Daniel Clarke and Theo Webb) finishing 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively. Unfortunately, Ethan Flack of the lower sixth – a strong contender for a medal – had to pull out after his first lap due to Achilles issues. It is also worth noting that Daniele Smart, despite his three year long hiatus from this race due to rowing training and COVID-19, managed to finish in the top ten and almost certainly secure a Middlesex qualification in his last year at Hampton

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