Harriers impress on first floodlit open!

Many of the Harriers promising youngsters were in outstanding form in the 2016 opening track race, held during the historic floodlight “switching on” ceremony which was part of the first ever evening open meeting held under the lights!

The official “switching on” ceremony was performed by many of the visiting dignitaries during a brief pause in the events which saw England athletics Chief executive Chris Jones, GB athletes Nathan Douglas & Jonathan Broom-Edwards, our home grown England international Emily Williams, Life President Ted Barton, KTH Chairman Ted Barton & Deputy Mayor of Kettering jointly switching on the Brand New Floodlights.

It seemed that perhaps someone was watching down over the Harriers as the weather for early April was near ideal, with bright evening sunshine bathing the Thurston road track and little or no wind allowing for some great times to be posted in the sprints, and the over distance 1 or 2km endurance races, which were an opportunity for the MD squad to have a warm up race to blow away any cobwebs from the 2 week break from the XC season.

An exciting season is anticipated for the sprint squad who have all worked very hard during the winter months to improve their strength and endurance. A total of 10 personal bests were recorded by the squad on the night.

Stand out performances were by Tyrese Parris-Smith (U17M) who recorded 12.5 in the 100m, and 25.3 in the 200m, & Erin Healy (U15F) who recorded 12.9 in the 100m and 26.7 as season openers. Max Mowforth (U13M) also proved that he has a bright future ahead of him, when he recorded times of 13. 4 and 27.4 which currently place him in the UK top 10 in his age group, there was a couple of good debuts for 2 x U11B sprints, Aaron Holloway and Brandon Kwei-Tagoe

In the field events the GB internationals Nathan Douglas (Triple Jump) and Jonathan Broom-Edwards (High Jump) held master classes with athletes from the various squads and they were very complementary on the participants. Both GB athletes market out their personal bests to show the athletes the level of performance required to represent your country…much to the amazement of all who observed!

Jonathan Broom-Edwards shows his High Jump PB of 2.15m!

In the first 1km race many of the U11’s were in action for many this was their first ever official running event. U11 Alfie Frayne ran a terrific race to win with a decisive kick at 200m to record a fine 3:32.4, with U11’s Lucas Rogers and Zak Harrow also recording splendid times of 3:46.3 & 3:48.0 respectively, and U11 Lilly Byrne the first U11 female in a fine 4:20.9, and U13 Scarlet Maxwell-Munn had a busy evening running will in the 1km with 3:58, and good performances in the 100 & 200m.

In the second 1km some of the squads 800m specialist were in action, and U17 Jake Trent ran a terrific front running race to record a very respectable opening time of 2:46.1 taking the win, with U20 Edward Cannell showing plenty of pace in second place with 2:55.8, and U15 Henri Codling finishing in third with a fine opener of 3:02.7. First female was U20 Ella Palmer the 400/800m specialist who was delighted with her opening race with 3:10.6, with u15 Alice Gammon making her track debut finishing as second female in a very respectable 3:24.7, with U15 Harriett Jolley third female finishing in 3:28.6 also showing she has wintered well.

There was a terrific finish in the lower order with U15 Daisy Robinson just edging her team mates with a terrific 3:36.2, with U15 Charlotte Maywood also running a terrific opener finishing just behind in 3:36.5, ahead of U15 Natalie Short in 3:37.1.
There was also a good turnout for the seniors/ masters with a fine run from Steve Sinnott to record a swift 3:24.30, and a close battle between Richard Campbell & Ian Hearne with the former just edging out his club colleague to record 3:37.4 and 3;37.7 respectively. There was also a close battle between Karen Albery & Gabriella Ventura finishing in 4:08.6 & 4:11.8 respectively.

In the 2km races there were some direct comparisons with the 2015 season opener with 9 athletes from the Middle distance squad setting significant new PB’s. In the first 2km race, U17 Josh Cannell ran a terrific race taking it on from the gun, and forcing the pace throughout to smash his PB by almost a minute to record a fine 6:44.0 and underline his significant improvement over the past 12 months. U17 Thomas Jawad who has also improved significantly ran a terrific race to finish in second place, closing down his squad colleague on the final lap to record 6:48.5 for second place, with U13 Ben Holborow running a terrific race to record a great time of 7:13.6 third finisher, and U13 Ben Brooker also running well in a busy night after competing in the 100m & 150m prior to the 2km running well with 7:51.8.

There were a number of female squad members competing in the first race with a terrifically close race between them, U13 Freya Batkin was setting the pace throughout, and just pipped in the final 100m by U17 Bethan Lewis who recorded a fine time 7:30.8, but Freya was rewarded with a superb 30 second PB finishing in a close second place with 7:32.2, with U13 Mia Brockway similarly recording a superb 28 second PB finishing just behind her colleagues in 3rd place in 7:42.4.

In the second race Jack Hope was part of a trio of athletes who set off from the gun locked together, with Josh Cara (who retired from the race after 3 laps) and Fynn Batkin. In a very close race Jack kicked decisively at the bell and opened up a gap on Fynn, was victorious with a near 6 second PB in 5:58.7 looking strong with his 2016 assault on the 2km steeplechase. Fynn Batkin continued with his superb XC form to knock an incredible 43 seconds from his 2015 time to smash his PB with 6:07.5 to suggest he will have a great opportunity to get near the ES quali time for his preferred 3k. Dylan Bowley also made a significant improvement on his PB of 25 seconds to suggest he will be in with a great chance to improve his 1500m time by the 12 seconds required for ES quali time.

The second 2km race gets underway

For the female runners, Emily Williams who has been back in training for just days, was victorious with a terrific run to show her strength over the longer track distances with a significant 16 second PB to record a superb time of 6:50.5, with Claudia Nevett closing her down strongly over the final 200m also smashing her PB by 21 seconds to record a sub 7:00 time of 6:56.6 showing she will be in good shape this season for her preferred 3k. Elana Albery run a solid opener to finish third female with 7:23.3 and she will look to build on this for the shorter 1500m races in the coming weeks, and Hannah Winstone also opting for the longer distance to her preferred 800m running a good opener of 7:45.8.

It was a terrific night for the whole club, with an historic evening floodlit open meeting which paves the way for the club to attract more athletes and enable many of the youngsters a chance to sample competition on their home track.

In the business part of the evening there were some truly outstanding PB’s showing that the squads are already “on fire” and looking forward to a fine track season.

See a report from England Athletics on the ceremony which included EA Chief Executive Chris Jones, and GB athletes Jonathan Broom-Edwards & Nathan Douglas who were helping to inspire a new generation of KTH athletes! www.englandathletics.org/england-athletics-news/kettering-athletes-set-to-shine-bright-thanks-to-new-floodlighting-1