Emily's England Debut

Emily Williams competed with distinction in her International debut for England in the British Schools Championships in Falkirk with a superb run to finish narrowly out of the individual medal positions in a magnificent 4th place.

She was rewarded however with a Team Gold helping England storm to victory ahead of Scotland & Wales with the combined Irish team finishing in 4th place.

This was a fitting climax to a breakthrough season for Emily who has been in sparkling form since the beginning of the year, and valuable experience for her to build on going forward.

The location for the British school’s championships was Callender Park in Falkirk, and the challenging 3km course was set up with a series of steep up & down hill sections and a very tight & twisty course which only in the last km allowed any free running, but conditions underfoot were very good with the ground firm, with bright and warm sunshine making for unfamiliar conditions for cross Country running.

The stage was set with a slightly nervous Emily lined up with her 8 English team mates on the start line, with a much smaller number of competitors which was limited to just 32, but with all athlete’s top 8 in their respective National championships the field was top quality. From the gun Emily made her typical fast start and was in a prominent position after the steep incline in the first 200m with the first 4 places being taken with English athletes. Emily managed to hold 4th position for the first km, with her English rivals setting a blistering pace in an attempt to form a breakaway group, and three managed to open up a gap on Emily on a fast downhill section before the start of the second loop,

Emily Williams got off to a superb start to remain in the top 5 throughout the race

Emily had to work hard to maintain this position with the leading athlete from Wales & Scotland vying for position, but once she got onto the free flowing part of the course Emily managed to consolidate 4th position. Further ahead the leading English trio had pulled out a 30m gap which proved too much for Emily to make up, with Olivia Mason the eventual winner completing the course in 10:24 leading England home, with Emily finishing strongly in 10:38 to take a highly respectable 4th place. With England taking the first 5 positions the team win was a foregone conclusion taking the team competition with 23 points from second place Scotland on 93 points.

Emily was delighted with her performance in her first experience of representing her country, with perhaps just a small amount of disappointment in just finishing out of the individual medal positions. However, on reflecting in her breakthrough season in winning English Schools two weeks earlier to earn her England call up, Emily will take huge satisfaction from her performance and from the whole exerience of competing in a high level international race.

Emily represented England with distinction and was delighted with her performance.

Coach Shane Smith said “Emily ran a terrific race and she proved she has the consistency to compete at an elite level and on the big stage, and I’m sure this experience will help cement herself as one of the UK’s finest middle distance runner’s within her age group”.

Kettering Town Harriers are hugely proud to have such a talented athlete competing for the club and her Country with distinction and we wish her every success going forward in what is shaping up to be an exciting career.