Harriers in action as T&F Season gathers momentum

It’s been a busy few weeks for the Harriers with league matches, Reginal championships & a BMC PB classic vying for their attention.


The Midland Senior & U20 Championships


The Midland Senior & U20 Championships were held in Nuneaton at the weekend with a number of great performances from the athletes and superb medals won by U20's Rio Carr & Ben Brooker in the middle distance events.  


U20 Rio Carr won a Silver medal in the 1500m with a fine performance finishing behind Nuneaton Harriers Sam Yates in a new PB of 4:10.36 in his first Reginal Championship podium finish. There was also a terrific Bronze medal for U20 Ben Brooker in the 800m, in a tactical race splitting in a very slow 61 seconds Ben was just unable to overhaul R&N Louis Starr & Mansfield Harriers Johar Ali over the final 300m and in a very close finish which saw the medals decided over just 0.35 sec with Brooker securing a fine podium finish with 1:59.44.


Rio Carr with a terrific PB performance to win the Silver medal in the U20 1500m


Superb Bronze Medal in the U20 800m for Ben Brooker


The sprint squad were well represented Cole Sinnott, U23, and U20 athletes, Harriet Cleaver, Sonal Rathod, and Holly Abbott all competing.


On Saturday the female athletes all competed in the 200m.  In heat 1, Holly Abbott ran a strong 2nd phase of her race, despite running into a headwind of minus 1.9, to finish in 7th position in 29.06 seconds.  Harriet and Sonal were both drawn in heat 2 and both ran fast bends before being hit by a minus 2.9 wind on the home straight.  Harrriet finished in 5th in a time of 27.79 seconds, and Sonal in 7th in 28.94 seconds.


Cole competed in the 400m the same day.  Drawn in lane 2, he ran a well-paced 300m and battled his way through the strong headwind in the final 100m of the race, to finish 4th in a personal best, and England Championships qualifying mark of 49.91 seconds.


Harriet and Sonal were the only athletes competing on Sunday, this time in the 100m.  First up to compete was Sonal.  Drawn in lane 7, she ran a strong race to finish in 7th place in 13.95 seconds.  Harriet was in heat 2 in lane 6, and had a good start to remain competitive, but faded in the closing stages, finishing 6th in 13.40 seconds.  Both runs were unfortunately into headwinds of 1.6 and 1.9 respectively.


Cole Sinnott - an outstanding run to qualify for his first England Championships


In the senior Men’s Championship both David Locker & Josh Geddes were in action in the 800m with Locker running a SB and his fastest 800m for nearly 2 years with 2:03.01 finishing in 5th place, to consolidate his place as UK ranked 3rd V45. Josh Geddes ran a fine heat to qualify for the final as a fastest loser in 1:56.86, returning the next day and running a near identical time of 1:56.90 to finish in a highly respectable 5th place in the final & gain valuable experience of championship racing.


Heart of England League, Rugby


Warm weather saw a crop of personal bests set at this meeting on Sunday 21st May.  The standout performance on the day came from U11 girl, Sophie Burnes, who set a new club record of 10.94 seconds in the 75m.  It was the fastest 75m race recorded on the day, and broke the record that had stood since 2012.  She looks certain to lower this further as the season progresses. Burnes followed up with a superb win in the 600m smashing her PB by over 7 seconds.


Sophie Burnes superb double in the 75m & 600m  


U13 boy, Aaron Ampofo, won his 100m race in a PB of 13.11 seconds.  Also in that age group, Sabina Lawton ran a PB of 14.18 seconds to finish 2nd in her race.  Neng Yang, the only U15 boy competing, set a PB of 12.78 seconds, finishing 5th, while U17 athlete, Abina Funy Soares Da Gama, set a new PB of 12.95 seconds in her race, finishing 4th.  Meanwhile, U20 athletes Dylan-Jo Mbu and Pasidu Warnaksulasuriya both also set PBs’ of 12.22 seconds and 12.05 seconds, finishing 5th and 2nd respectively.


The 200m races saw Aaron Ampofo win once again in a new PB of 27.13 seconds, joining him in the U13 age group was Jackson Ahmadu, who set a new PB of 30.92 seconds, finishing 3rd in his race.  Neng Yang set yet another PB of 26.24 seconds, to finish 4th in the U15 boys race.  Pasidu and Dylan-Jo also both set PBs’ of 24.20 and 25.04 seconds in their 200m races, finishing 5th and 2nd respectively.


U13 Aaron Ampofo two 'A' race wins in the 100m & 200m


There were some outstanding performances from the middle distance squad in the younger age groups with the Harriers taking both win’s in the U13B 800m. In the ‘A’ race Rafferty Davey had a terrific battle with R&N Freddie Love and managed to outpace him in the final 150m to take the victory in 2:30.00 dead. Joshua Spavins followed up with a brilliant win in the ‘B’ race in only his 2nd race over the distance he sliced 8 seconds off his PB to win the race from R&N Alfred Taylor by over 50m in 2:30.39.


U13 Joishua Spavins with a fine 'B' 800m win and an 8 second PB


In the U13G 800m the Harriers scored fine points with Sabina Lawton finishing in 2nd place in the ‘A’ 800m with an 8 second PB to underline her improvements in the event, and there was a brilliant win for Darcey Taplin  in her first race over the distance to win the ‘B’ race with 2:49.78.


In the 1500m the Harriers also produced some fine performances with the U13G securing 2nd places in both the A&B races with Tiggy Guthrie-Brown running a strong race in 5:19.28, with Clara Booth also ran a terrific race in 5:27.82 an 18 PB.


U13 Oliver Smith also finished in a fine 2nd place in the ‘A’ race in 5:09.56, and U15 Zachary Scott took second place in the ‘A’ race with a fine run in 4:38.25.


In the longer sprints the Harriers also saw some great performances with U17 Dylan White taking a fine win in the 400m ‘A’ race to see of a close challenge from R&N’s Robbie Dale. U15 George Sharp ran a new PB of  42.99 for the 300m ‘A’ race with Zachary Scott also setting a PB in the U15B ‘B’ race. U17 Maggie Gancheva finished in 2nd place in the 300m with SB of 45.47.


U17 Dylan White with a fine win in the 400m


The Harriers will hopefully look to try field more athletes in the missing age groups to secure more points in the 2nd match on 17th June.    


Midland League,Nuneaton.


 A small contingent of athletes travelled to Nuneaton to compete in the 2nd league meeting of the season on Saturday 20th May. Strong headwinds hampered times, as has been the case in the majority of the races ran so far this season.


In the 100m and 200m, U20 man, Zorhann Giraud, finished 2nd in both of his races in 12.5 and 24.8 seconds.  Both races were won by U17 athlete, Harvey Nelson, of Solihull & Small Heath.  Luke Riches, made a welcome return to competing since straining his hamstring last season, to win his 100m race in 12.2 seconds.  Also taking tentative steps since injuring himself was U17 athlete, William Rawcliffe, who won his 200m race in 24.9 seconds.  Meanwhile in the 400m, U23 athlete, Caleb Corstin posted a PB of 58.0 seconds to finish 3rd, in what was his 1st race over that distance since 2021.


In the women’s events, U20 athlete, Harriet Cleaver, got out of the blocks fast to win her 100m race in 13.6 seconds, following this up later in the day with 2nd place in the 200m in 27.4 seconds.  Meanwhile, U17 athlete, Elizabeth Reading, did the double on the day, winning both of her races in 13.5 and 27.3 seconds.  Holly Abbott, U20, finished 2nd in the C race 100m in 14.6 seconds, and won her 200m race in 29.4 seconds.  Ellie Warboys, U17, followed Holly home in 2nd place in the 200m in 29.5 seconds.


Kettering won both 4 x 100m relays with the men running a time of 46.9 seconds, and the women’s team equalling the U20 women’s club record of 52.0 seconds, with Ellie Warboys on 1st leg, Elizabeth Reading on 2nd, Holly Abbott on 3rd, and Harriet Cleaver taking them home on 4th leg.


The winning 4 x 100m relay teams


Oxford PB Classic


At the Oxford PB Classic some of the younger athletes were in Action with U15 Jemima Davey running an all-important 1500m English Schools qualification time of 4:47.13 shaving 5 seconds from her opening race just days earlier at the Watford Wednesday open. Davey will now look to consolidate her position and concentrate on improving her time & running a PB over the coming weeks.


Jemima Davey with an all-important English schools qualifying time in the 1500m


Other athletes to benefit from quick back-to-back races was U13 Clara Booth who ran a fine race to set a 3.5 sec PB with 5:24.08. U17 Maggie Gancheva who set a 1500m SB on Wednesday also produced a fine SB with a fine run of 2:20.77, Gancheva now heads to her native Bulgaria to compete of 1500m in the Bulgarian Nation Championships. U17 Lara Turner ran well to also set a SB of 2:24.42 in the 800m.


Also running in the Oxford BMC was U13 Rafferty Davey who ran his third consecutive sub 5:00 1500m, with 4:56.29 just a few seconds shy of his PB with U17 Dylan Ransom running 4:38.82 in the 1500m, and U15 George Sharp perhaps feeling the effects of a week’s holiday running 2:20.34 in the 800m.


Well done to everyone who ran.