Home victory for Harriers in Heart of England

KTH registered maximum points for the second successive time in their home Heart of England League fixture, held on a typically breezy day at the Leisure Village track.

As in the first meeting at Nuneaton, the Harriers were by some distance the strongest team, winning five of the six main categories. Only the Under 15 boys, who were depleted by a couple of injuries, had to settle for second place.

The highlight of the afternoon was a superb display of high jumping from Gabriel Smith, who added an astonishing 12 cm to his personal best, as he cleared 1.52m. In doing so, he set a new Under 13 Club record, overhauling James Cann's 1.51, which was set in 2004. In the same age group, Ethan Mehmet won the long jump with 4.25m and the relay team came home first, dipping just under 60 seconds.

Jack Hope in the 1500m was the only Under 15 boys winner for Kettering, but there were multiple successes for the Under 17s, including Ed Cherry (800m & high jump), Josh Coles (1500m), and Matt Stewart (400m). Tom Carvell ran alone in the 100m hurdles, and not surprisingly he won.

As for the girls, the Under 13s and 15s repeated the feat of winning both A and B strings in all the middle-distance races, with Tabatha Walford, Beth Gordon, Fran Ashworth and Gemma Vaughan all logging victories. The Gilbert family made their usual strong contribution, as Annie won the Under 13 shot and Daisy notched up an Under 15 hat-trick in the shot, javelin and high jump.

Lorna Milne won the 75m hurdles and was part of the winning Under 15 relay team. The Under 13 girls also won their relay as Hannah Winstone just pipped her opponent from Harborough on the line. 

The Under 17/ Senior women's team were dominant. Gemma Elliott won three close sprint races, Kayli Walford did a long jump / 800m double and Natalie Stapleton triumphed in the shot. Sadly, Niamh Bailey pulled up after the 300m with what looked like a nasty injury; all at KTH wish her a speedy recovery.

Finally, it was good to see some Under 11's taking part for Kettering. Their events are scored separately. There was a fine performance from Danielle Gaskell who won the 600m, battling hard down the home straight to hold off her rivals.

With one meeting to go, the Harriers are strongly placed not only to be divisional champions, but also to take the majority of the age categories, for which there are separate awards. In order for this to happen, we need to take a full team to Kidderminster for the final fixture on Saturday 3rd September. Book the date now!