Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club teenager Theo Etienne warmed up for the biggest race of his evolving athletics career by taking the silver medal in the U17 60m sprint at the Surrey indoor athletics championships last weekend.
Etienne, 16, who started training at Wimbledon Park only six months ago, came tantalisingly close to lifting the title as he matched the 7.00 seconds time of the winner Zanson Plummer, who is ranked number one in the UK for his age group.
Etienne, who was competing in only his third meeting since switching to athletics from football, made a good start in his bid to become Surrey U17 60m champion as he won his heat in 7.15, the fastest of the 21 first round competitors.
He then ran a faster 7.08 to win his semi-final race, slower than Plummer's 6.96 in winning the other semi-final. Etienne then fought all the way in the final to miss out on gold by less than the thickness of his vest.
A second Hercules Wimbledon athlete, Rechmial Miller, just 14, took the bronze medal in 7.12 after moving up from the boys U15 age group where he took the Surrey outdoor 100m title at Kingsmeadow Stadium last summer.
Miller, who was racing over 60m for the first time, also won his first round heat in 7.28, improving to 7.12 in finishing behind Plummer in his semi-final and repeating that time in the final.
Both Miller and Etienne will come up against Plummer again this coming weekend when they compete in the England age group indoor championships at Birmingham's National Indoor Arena.
Hercules Wimbledon's Emily Martin won the senior women's indoor long jump title at Sutton Arena with a leap of 5.74m which was close to her lifetime best of 5.80m set in 2007.
Richard Agyapong got through to the semi-finals of the senior men's 60m where he as fourth in his race in 7.14, while Philip Mauge was third in his U20 men's semi-final race in 7.26.