Harriers MD squad in Birmingham BMC action

Some of the leading athletes in the squad were competing in the BMC Birmingham Gold Standard (wed evening) & the prestigious Birmingham BMC Grand Prix on the Saturday, both held in ideal conditions for fast times, with two athletes looking to secure European U18 Championship Qualification times there were some outstanding performances with both girls goiong agonisingly close to hitting the standard.


U17 UK Indoor Champion Alice Bennett, who had set early season PB’s over 100m, 300m & 1500m, was in her first outing over the preferred distance of 800m in a quality field and she ran a magnificent race to slice almost 2 seconds from her PB to finish in third place in the ‘A’ race, beating some established athletes in the process to open her season just 0.06 shy of the Euro U18 Qualification mark with 2:08.06 and move to UK number 2 U17, and a top 5 U20 ranking! Bennett returned a few days later to compete at the Grand Prix and almost certainly feeling her new PB in her legs she still ground out a superb 2:08.73 in the race. The race timing were not great but as she in now in full GCSE exam mode Bennett has a limited number of all female races to secure the qualification mark, a pre-requisite for consideration for the GB team.


Alice Bennett with a brilliant opening 800m of 2;08.06, a 2 second PB and just 0.06 sec opff the Euro U18 Qualifiying standard


Bottom year U20 Alice Bates failed to caplitalise on her superb opening 3k time of 9:41.15 in the BMC Gold standard race on the Wednesday and was left disappointed, however just a few days later she bounced back magnificently to produce a brilliant PB performance in her opening 1500m race of the season with 4:26.67, just over half a second from the Euro U18 Qualification mark. Bates ran a terrific race and she will take much positivity in her closing lap of 69 seconds where she felt strong and full of running. Bates now looks to concentrate on her preferred distance of 1500m and secure the all-important qualification mark over the next few weeks.


Alice Bates ran a superb 3 second PB of 4:26.67 in the 1500m to close in on the Euro U18 Qualification standard  


Also competing at both events was Birmingham Uni based U23 Emily Williams who after 2 years in the wilderness is now starting to gather great momentum on her journey back to the form that saw her secure a Euro U18 Silver medal. Williams ran on Wednesday in the open meeting over 800m and set a terrific SB performance of 2:12.72, her fastest time since Aug 2019. Williams followed this up with another great performance in the BMC Grand Prix, racing along Alice Bates Williams enjoyed a brilliant finish to run 4:29.39 with a terrific last 200m. Williams will look to drive towards her PB’s this season as a Base for her to really start her push in 2023, and on this evidence she has certainly turned the corner.


Birmingham student Emily Williams setting fantastic new SB performances in both the 800m & 1500m


Well done to all three girls.