Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club’s track and field team faces a crucial Southern League test this weekend when it comes up against the strongest of the other 16 squads in its division in a battle on the South Coast at Worthing, writes Tom Pollak.

It is not hosts Worthing that will provide the challenge but their near neighbours from along the coast, Hastings, who are lying in runners-up spot in the division just one point behind leaders Hercules Wimbledon.

Hercules Wimbledon have hired a coach to ensure as strong a squad as possible turns out for the club in this fourth Southern Athletics League fixture of the season which will almost certainly decide the fate of the Division Three South East title.

Going into this vital match, Hercules Wimbledon top the 17-team division as the only unbeaten side on 15 league points just one point ahead of Hastings in second place on 14. Other teams in the match are hosts Worthing (12th with nine points), Paddock Wood and Folkestone (15th with 6) and Medway Park Phoenix, who prop up the table in 17th place with three points.

The team coach will leave from Home Park Road, close to Wimbledon Park Golf Club at 9am on Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, Hercules Wimbledon’s men’s and women’s teams will go into next Wednesday’s final Rosenheim League Eastern Division Match at Tooting Bec topping their respective divisional tables.

The women have a comfortable lead going into the match and look set to retain the title they are defending. The women’s positions after four Eastern Division matches are:-

1 Hercules Wimbledon 23 league points (238 match points); 2 Serpentine 19 (208.5); 3 Belgrave 14 (114); 4 Croydon 7 (68.5); 5 Herne Hill 5 (31).

The positions at the top of the men’s table are much tighter with the top three teams all on 18 points:- 1 Hercules Wimbledon 18 (191); 2 Serpentine 18 (187); 3 Belgrave 18 (182); 4 Holland Sports 16 (177); 5 Croydon 9 (130); 6 Herne Hill 5 (53).

The top four men’s and top three women’s teams will qualify for the Rosenheim League finals which are being staged at Kingsmeadow Stadium on Wednesday, August 21st.

Hercules Wimbledon’s women’s team triumphed in their penultimate Eastern Division match at Battersea Park to strengthen their position at the top of the table. Emilie Bokor-Ingram took the 400 metres and helped the team to victory in the 4x200 metres relay. The other winners on the night were Ann-Kathrin Mielke in the women’s triple jump and Lisa Thomas in the 400m hurdles. Thomas was also third in the 800 metres and Bokor-ingram second in the 200 metres.

Other members of the team included Alex Binley who was second and third in the 1500 and 3000 metres, Michelle Mason, who was third in the discus and hammer and Aisha Amodu who was third in the 100 metres.

Match result: 1 Hercules Wimbledon 54pts; 2 Serpentine 49; 3 Belgrave 33; 4 Croydon 16; 5 Herne Hill 12.

The men’s team managed to cling into their Rosenheim League Eastern Division lead by the skin of their teeth after finishing third on the night. Sam Hitchings threw a lifetime best to win the hammer with 42.85 metres while the other winner was all-rounder Mark Andrews in the triple jump. Andrews was also second in the 400m hurdles, pole vault and discus.

Match result: 1 Serpentine 51pts; 2 Belgrave 50; 3 Hercules Wimbledon 44; 4 Holland Sports 39; 5 Croydon 32; 6 Herne Hill 16.

Andy Greenleaf was the best of eight Hercules Wimbledon runners in Highgate Harriers’ Night of 10000 metres PBs at Parliament Hill Fields on Saturday. He was 16th in his race in a personal best of 30 minutes 37.75 seconds. Ben Toomer, visiting London from his New York base, also clocked as personal best of 31:06:49 while Jonny Cornish clocked a season’s best of 31:09:07.

Hercules Wimbledon’s London Schools junior boys 100 metres champion Freddie Arkell is in action for the capital in this weekend’s English Schools Championships in Birmingham along with his Hercules Wimbledon club mate Georgie Clarke. Teenager Arkell warmed up for Birmingham with an impressive 200 metres win in a Youth Development League meeting in Battersea Park in a personal best of 22.7 seconds. This puts him top of the British rankings for the under 15 boys age group. He also ran a personal best 11.32 in winning the 100 metres at the same meeting. His time ranks him eighth under 15 boy in the UK this summer. Arkell competes in the Junior Boys 100 metres in Birmingham while Georgie runs in the intermediate girls 1500 metres after taking gold in the event in the London championships.