McDonald is national champion as Herne Hill Harriers girls dominate
5:05pm Tuesday 26th February 2013 in Sport
Katy-Ann McDonald dominated a star-studded field to be named UK National Cross Country U13 girls' champion in Sunderland last weekend.
The Herne Hill Harrier, who goes to Ursuline Secondary School in Wimbledon and is coached by Phil Kissi, won the coveted crown in bitter conditions of sleet and snow.
McDonald led a top group of five runners which included Liverpool and Essex Schools cross country champion Khahisa Mhlanga, London youth champion and fellow Harrier Saskia Millard, and Cardiff and Yorkshire champion Amelia Lancaster.
McDonald quickly opened up a 20m lead and she finished the 3k course in 11 minutes, 26 seconds, four seconds ahead of Lancaster, to add the national title to her Surrey County and Schools titles in her first season in athletics.
Millard finished fourth as Harriers also took the U13 girls' team prize thanks to Alex Brown's 11th place and Eloise O'Shaughnessy's finish in 26th. It is the first time a junior Harriers' squad has ever won a national cross country title in its 124-year history.
The U15 girls' were fifth and the U17 girls' had to settle for 14th. The best performing boys' team was the U13s as they finished eighth overall. The U15s were 11th - with South of England cross county championship bronze medallist Ed Olson 20th.
Julia Wedmore was their fastest finisher in the 8k women's race, coming home 94th in 36:37, while Jeff Cunningham was the first Harrier home in the 12k men's race, finishing 133rd in 46:57 as the team came 18th out of 79.
Herne Hill Harrier and Nottingham University student Katie Snowden was the 800m at the indoor British University and Colleges Sport championships in Sheffield, winning in two minutes, 10.63 seconds.
Jessie Knight won a bronze in the 400m with a personal best indoor time of 54.97.
At the England Athletics junior indoor championships in Birmingham they were bronze medals for Michelle Obijiaku and Denisha Marshall-Brown. Obijiaku won bronze in the U17 shot with a throw of 11.57m and Marshall-Brown was third in the U15 women's shot with a lifetime best of 10.11m.