Brilliant Bennett secures a Euro U18 Qualifier

Kettering’s on fire U17 Alice Bennett continued her scintillating form to 2022, with her 5th PB of the season to smash through the 2:08 barriers and secure an all important European U18 Qualification time.


Bennett who opened her 800m season frustratingly just 0.06 sec outside of the qualifier mark with a lifetime best of 2:08.06 earlier in the month, was coming into the race off the back of a huge amount of disruption to her training due to her GCSE exams, so it was remarkable that she manged to secure a new PB of 2:07.54.


Upgraded into the women’s ‘A’ 800m race, Bennett was the youngest athlete in the race by some margin having just turned 16 last month. True to her fearless racing style Bennett was un-phased by this and set about her task in a cool and composed manner, sitting well back from the 59 second paced opening lap in the middle of the chasing pack she split in 62 seconds. Working hard on the back straight to stay in contention, Bennett produced a superb effort over the closing 100m to finish in 6th place with a new lifetime best to cement her position as UK No2 U17.


Alice Bennett (82) brilliant New 800m PB of 2:07.54 & an all-important European U18 Qualifying time


Bennett was delighted with her run and to set an early season marker for the European U18 Championships being held in Jerusalem in early July, and this time ranks her 7th in Europe, and third in the UK U18 rankings which take into account the UK’s top year U17’s & bottom year U20’s.


Coach Shane Smith was full of praise for his rising star “Alice has been under a huge amount to stress with her GCSE exams, particularly as her cohort have been heavily affected by the covid pandemic over the past two years so it was remarkable performance to set a qualifying standard and this shows her ability to produce a performance under pressure.” He added “Alice has made a brilliant start to the season but she will most likely need to run faster still and we are targeting the Watford Grand Prix in 2 weeks to try and improve her chances for selection for the GB team for the U18 Championships. As an athlete thats all you can do it’s then down to the GB selectors who decide on the team on 20th June".


Alice now looks to enjoy a week’s respite from her exams over half term and get a quality block of training in and give it her best shot at the high-quality Watford BMC Grand -Prix.


Also running an impressive race was SW Emily Williams, who continues her strong comeback. Competing in the Women’s ‘C’ race Williams ran a fine race, splitting in 66 seconds she had a lot of work to do with 200m to go in closing down Ava Lloyd who had a 30m advantage, but she rolled back the years with a determined effort in the home straight and reeled in her opponent to win her race just on the line in a SB 2:12.24.


Emily Williams (100) continues her fine return to form winning the 'C' race in a SB of 2:12.24


Williams looks to continue her racing over both 1500m & 800m over the coming weeks to continue her strong comeback, targeting times within touching distance of her PB's.


Well done to both Girls.