Northants AA County Champs 2023

The Northamptonshire County Championships (and other County Championships throughout the UK) held over two days was a chance for the athletes in all disciplines to compete against the best athletes form the County and a chance to put some good performances at the start of the main part of the track season. There were some outstanding performances from the weekend with a huge haul of 24 Gold medals, 17 Silver & 8 Bronze.


A number of athletes managed to become double county Champions with the outstanding performance from the Sprints group U13 Aaron Ampofo, who did the double in the 100m and 200m sprint, while U13 Oliver Smith  completed the Middle Distance 800m & 1500m double with U11 Calum Johnson  doing the same for the younger age group over 600m & 1200m, and U11 Sophie Burns showing her strength in both disciplines  with a 75m & 1200m Gold. This underlines the terrific terrific pool of talent in the younger ranks coming through. Jack Abbott secured three Gold Medals in the Shot, Discus & Javelin off limited training to show he has great potential in this area.  


In the Middle distance squad there were 11 Gold medals secured over the weekend with perhaps the leading performances from U13 Oliver Smith & Callum Johnson securing classic MD double Gold medal winning performances.


U13 Oliver Smith has been working hard and this shone through with a superb 800m performance which saw him run a very shred tactical race and position himself perfectly throughout, in a race that went out at pace. Smith was always prominent in the race and didn’t panic when R&N Charles Leech took the lead with 200m to go, he tucked in and then put in a devastating finish in the home straight which took him clear of Leech to win in a new PB of 2:26.35 by over a second. Smith returned the next day to complete the MD double with a majestic performance in the 1500m to lead from gun to tape to take his 2nd Gold Medal. Smith controlled the race with a 40m lead after the opening lap and then put in a superb bell lap to stretch away from R&N Toby Read to win by almost 20 seconds in 5:07.87 to cap a brilliant weekend for the youngster.


Oliver Smith Brilliant Double Gold in the 800m & 1500m


U11 Calum Johnson in his first Championship and first ever Middle Distances races showed what an excellent prospect he is by winning two Gold’s in the 600m & 1200m. Johnson went out positively in the 600m and was leading throughout, managing to hold off a strong challenge from R&N Henry Marriott to take the win in 1:55.50. Returning the next day Johnson repeated the performance and raced a very positive race in the 1200m to show his versatility in winning the race from Daventry’s Rupert Harrison in 4:11.98 in what was a memorable weekend for the youngster who still has another full year as an U11.


Calum Johnson on the way to victory in the 1200m, to repeat his win from the day earlier in the 600m


Sophie Burns who recently begun training with MD squad, splitting her weekly sessions with the sprint squad, she showed she has bags of talent and versatility. Fresh from winning the 75m Gold earlier in the day Burns turned her hand to the 1200m, her first race at this distance. Burns went straight to the front from the gun and opens up an immediate gap on the field, slowly stretching the gap throughout the race to win comfortably in 4:44.53 by over 10 seconds from Northampton AC’s Rose Tannasee (4:56.10) to take her second Gold of the day.


Sophie Burns with a fine win in the 1200m following a win earlier in the 150m


New recruit U13 Sabina Lawton had a terrific championship securing three Silver Medals to underline her undoubted potential. Lawton running only her 2nd ever 800m ran a terrific race to track ex Harrier Bella Lamb throughout, with a terrific sprint finish in the home straight from both athletes sorting the major medals with Lamb just holding off Lawton who secured a fine Silver in 2:43.69. Lawton retuned the next day and secured her second Silver with a fine 100m sprint performance, and with a short period of recovery she set about competing in her first ever 1500m. Showing a natural ability at the longer event Lawton again tracked R&N Bella Lamb and the two were locked in battle, but despite a valiant attempt to go past Lamb with 250m to go Lamb proved too strong for Lawton, who took the Silver in 5:21.78. Lawton will take some massive positives from her first performances at the MD events with very limited specific training, with much more to come from this youngster.


Sanina Lawton with a fine battle with R&N Bell Lamb (66) to take her third Silver Medal


Further Gold Medals were secured in the Leicestershire County Championships with a fine 5,000m race from Joseph Pickering who managed to hold off a late challenge from Northampton AC’s Ben Westmoreland-Alexander to win the Gold by the smallest of margins in 16:57.32 for his first sub 17:00 mins clocking.


U15 Zachary Scott who has been knocking large chunks from his 1500m time continued his fine start to the season with a majestic win in the 1500m, in a performance which saw him lead from the gun and take the Gold untroubled in a new PB of 4:35.54, with squad training partner George Sharp impressively holding off R&N Jake Clarke with 250m to go to take a fine Silver in a new 5 second PB of 4:40.80 to add to his Bronze medal secured in the 800m a day earlier in 2:14.00 which was also a new PB.


Fine one two from the Harriers U15's Zachary Scott  & George Sharp (closest) in the 1500m 


Also securing a one two were U13’s Tiggy Guthrie-Brown & Clara Booth, both competing in the neighbouring Cambs County Championships opver 800m. Guthrie-Brown went out hard in the race and took it out from the start and was rewarded with her 2nd consecutive championship Gold in 2:32.95, with Booth securing a fine new PB to take the Silver in 2:34.33.


The Cambs Championships was an opportunity for new recruit Joshua Spivins to test his improvements since joing the Harriers earlier in the year. Spivins a bottom year U13 was competing over 1500m for the first time and it was a tough baptism for him competing against the UK No1 Harry Cantell. He sensibly decided to run his own race and ran superbly to take the Silver in 5:02.03 with Cantell winning in 4:46.26. Spivins debut time in the 1500m ranks him UK 6th bottom year U13 so impressive running.


Rafferty Davey also ran well to secure a fine Silver at the Cambs Champs over 800m with a PB of 2:25.42 and a UK top 30 ranking. Elder sibling Jemima Davey went one better securing a Gold medal in the Somerset County Championships with a 2:21.0 clocking despite nursing a slight groin strain.


In the longer sprints there were two further Gold Medals secured with U17 Dylan White holding of a strong challenge from Northampton AC’s Freddie Cushing to take the County Title in 52.89. U20 Ben Brooker was also triumphant in the 400m taking the County Title in a SB of 51.87 to add to his Silver medal secured the day earlier in the 800m


The final medal secured was from U15 Iona Ellwood who ran a sensible race in the 800m to win a fine Bronze in 2:25.91 holding off former Harrier Peyton Almond in the final 150m.


The performances from the MD squad in winning 24 medals certainly show there is a huge number of talented youngsters coming through, and this weekend will kick start the season for many.



There was a haul of 21 medals won over the weekend in the sprint events, with a total of 24 personal best runs achieved.


The outstanding performances over the 2 days of competition, came from U13 boy, Aaron Ampofo, who did the double in the 100m and 200m.  On Saturday he won his 200m heat in a personal best of 27.68 seconds, and followed that up with another win in the final in 27.83 seconds.  Sunday saw him return to the podium to win his 100m final in another personal best of 13.34 seconds.  His early season form makes him currently the highest ranked athlete in the squad.


Brilliant early season from form U13 Aaron Ampofo winning the 100m & 200m Gold


Aaron was joined in both finals by Jackson Ahmadu and Yannick Chassaigne.  In the 200m, Jackson set a new PB of 31.91 seconds in his heat, and lowered this in the final to 31.78 seconds.  In the 100m, which was a straight final, he set a new PB of 14.70 seconds to finish in 6th place.  Meanwhile, Yannick finished 4th in his 200m heat and final with times of 31.53 and 31.27 seconds respectively, before returning the next day to set a PB of 15.02 in the 100m, finishing 7th.


The girls competing in the U13 age group all made it through to their 200m finals, and set PBs’ in their races.  Sisters Darci and Lucie Cleaver battled it out with Darci winning her heat in a PB of 32.91 in the 200m, and Lucie running 33.60 seconds.  In the final Lucie just edged it, finishing 4th in at PB of 33.31 seconds, with Darci finishing 6th in 33.58 seconds.  The surprise performance in the final came from Matilda Abbott who secured the bronze medal with a PB run of 33.02 seconds, lowering her previous PB of 33.57 seconds that she had set in her heat.  Sabina Lawton set a PB of 14.24 seconds in the heat of her 100m race, before going on to win the silver medal in the final in 14.35 seconds.


In the U15 age group, Neng Yang won silver in the 200m setting a new PB of 26.42 seconds.  He followed that up by setting yet another PB of 12.93 seconds in the 100m while finishing 3rd.  Serena Warnakulasuriya finished 5th in the girls 100m in 15.21 seconds.


Elizabeth Reading led the way in the U17 age group, finishing 2nd in her heat and final to rising star, Savannah McKenzie Morgan of Rugby and Northampton Athletics Club.  Elizabeth’s times in the finals were a PB of 26.95 seconds in the 200m, and 13.10 in the 100m, preceded by a PB run of 13.06 seconds in the heat.  Picking up the bronze in both finals was Abina Soares Da Gama, who ran 27.87 seconds in the 200m, and set a PB of 13.09 seconds in her 100m heat, before recording a time of 13.30 seconds in the final.  Also producing PBs’ in this age group were Lulu Mowforth who ran a time of 14.83 seconds in the 100m, and 30.76 seconds in the 200m, and Ellie Warboys set a new PB of 13.71 seconds to finish 7th in the 100m final.  U17 athlete, William Rawcliffe, returning from injury, finished 3rd in the 200m, his preferred event, in a time of 24.56 seconds, and 5th in the 100m.


A Silver medal for Elizabeth Reading & Bronze medal for Abina Soares Da Gama 


Harriet Cleaver picked up the silver medal in the U20 women’s 200m final, and finished 4th in the 100m final. Sonal Rathod got the bronze medal in the 200m, and Holly Abbott finished 4th.  Both athletes finished 5th and 7th respectively in the 100m.  Zorhann Giraud led the way in the U20 men’s age group, winning 2 silver medals - in the 200m on Saturday in a PB of 23.89 seconds, and setting yet another PB in the 100m with a run of 11.79 seconds.  Pasidu Warnaksulasuriya, competing in the 100m, set a new PB of 12.43 seconds to pick up the bronze medal.


 Silver& bronze for Zorhann Giraud and Pasidu Warnaksulasuriya


U23 athlete, Josh Gray, the only hurdler in the squad, won his 400m hurdles race in a season’s best time of 61.14 seconds.  Also in this age group, Caleb Corstin won silver in both of his sprint races.  Meanwhile, veteran lady, Wilika Carr, won 2 gold medals over the weekend in her sprint races.


Finally, a special mention to the youngest member of the squad, Sophie Burnes, who won the gold medal in the 75m time trial race in a personal best time of 11.24 seconds.  Her winning time was even faster than any of the boys in her age group had managed to achieve on the day.



Multi event athletes  Matilda Abbott and Lucie Cleaver both had a busy weekend.  Competing in the U13 age group, Matilda secured the gold medal in the long jump with a jump of 3.73 metre, while Lucie won the silver medal with a jump of 3.36 metres.  Also, competing in the long jump, U15 boy, Aidan Hooks finished 5th with a jump of 3.79 metres.  He was,  unfortunately, unable to participate in any further events over the weekend due to a groin injury.


Lucie Cleaver (left) and Matilda Abbott (right) - multi medalists over a busy weekendimage


U17 athlete, Ellie Warboys, put together a good series of jumps in the high jump to win the bronze medal with a season best jump of 1.47 metres.  Also competing in the high jump over the weekend was U15 girl, Tallulah Dring.  Competing the Leicestershire County Championships, held in conjunction with the Northamptonshire Championships, she won the silver medal with a jump of 1.38 metres.




Rising star George Mills did not disappoint in the U15 Javelin with a series of throws all exceeding his previous PB with his best of the series a brilliant throw of 39.33m and a well deserved Gold Medal. This currently ranks George UK 15, and with the right wind conditions who knows what this talented youngster can acheive? 


U15 George Mills takes the Gold with a fine new PB which ranks him UK 15th


Showing the rewards of dedicated training Lucie Cleaver smashed her PB in Shot Putt going over 7m for the first time with 7.14m being rewarded with a silver medal while teammate Matilda Abbott, trying a new technique was rewarded with a fantastic bronze medal. The following day both girls took the Javelin in hand and with no wind the spears were falling flat but the girls did well taking Gold (Lucie) and Silver (Matilda), with Lucie again achieving a PB.


Jack Abbott had a weekend of success with Golds in Discus, Shot and Javelin and a fantastic PB in Discus of over 20 metres (21.86m). The future looks bright for this new thrower who entered the competition with very limited training. 


Jack Abbott with a fine weekend winning a triple Gold Medals in the throws


Another top performance from multi event athlete Emily Batchelor in the Shot to take the Gold, adapting her technique to accommodate the testing circle saw a distance just short of her PB and an excellent series of throws.


It was an outstanding weekend for the Harriers with true strength coming through in all disciplines, Well Done to everyone who Ran, Jumped or Threw!