Kettering Open signals start to 2024 Track & Field Season

The April Kettering Town Open Meeting, a traditional opener for most of the KTH athletes starting their 2024 track campaign, was held in very pleasantly warm and fine conditions, with only the moderate and blustery breeze detracting from the overall good conditions. This was an opportunity for athletes to check if the winter training had been going well and with PB's coming thick and fast it was a fabulous start to the season.


Middle Distance Squad


There were a number of outstanding performances for the Middle Distance Squad both over both the more traditional 800m/ 1500m, but also over the longer 1k/ 2k distances giving athletes the option to compete over distance.


In the 1500m there were two outstanding performances from the growing contingent of U15G in the MD squad with bottom year Millie Sharp making her debut over the distance and setting a very impressive time of 5:12.13 which ranks her top 20 in the UK for bottom year athletes. Sharp who has joined the Harriers, is also a county level swimmer and on this evidence she will have much more to give in her burgeoning running career. Clara Booth, also a bottom year U15 also had a fine opening 1500m slicing over 6 seconds from her PB to finish in 5:17.54. Also making his KTH and track debut was U15 Thomas Williams who set a very respectable 5:27.71 and U20 George Separovic, who controlled the race from the gun and was a comfortable winner, set a new PB of in 4:28.21, with fellow U20 Ellis Johnson opening his season with 4:51.48.


U15's Millie Sharp with a brilliant debut at 1500m with Clara Booth in tow setting a 6 sec PB


The 1k had attracted most attention from the squad, with some fine performances. Following on from his fine opening 1500m which ranks in inside the UK top 5, top year U13 Joshua Spavins sliced over 15 seconds from his previous best to finish second in his heat with a fine time of 3:09.84. Top year U17 Maggie Gancheva opened her campaign with a very respectable 3:12.95, with top year U15 Peyton Almond also running well with 3:16.38, and bottom year U15’s Sabina Lawton fresh from her earlier win in the 100m recording 3:21.13, a 13 second PB, with Amelie Heron making her debut at the distance running well, and bottom year U13 Callum Johnson with a fine run for 3:36.65. Heat 2 in the 1k saw U17 Dylan Ranson slice 8 seconds from his PB to record a fine time of 2:46.03, while U20 Alice Bennett finish just shy of her PB with 2:53.73 to open her 2024 outdoor season.


U13 Joshua Spavins with a 15 second PB in the 1000m


In the 2k there were just 2 competitors with U15 Harlee Hooker running credibly close to his PB with 6:51.97, and earlier in the day he managed to set a 100m PB with 13:82. In the 800m bottom year U15 Oliver Smith opened his season with 2:28.61, while in the 400m U23 medical student Hanna McLaughlin, who is temporarily training with the squad while working at Kettering General Hospital, ran well with a 400m SB of 60.47. With ambitions of dipping below 60 seconds while with the Harriers this looks possible on the evidence of her well-paced race. Returning later in the 200m, McLaughlin ran a fine 1.5 sec PB in the 200m with 26.97, sadly not legal with a +2.8 wind.  


KTH 2nd claim athlete U23 Hannah McLaughlin with a fine 400m/ 200m double


In the 600m there were some great performances from some of the up-and coming KTH athletes with U13 Eoin Fitzpatrick winning heat 1 in 2:10.59 and U13 James Lawton finishing second with a supercharged final 100m in 2:12.12, and Maximilian Cochrane third in 2:14.19. In heat 2, U11 Amelie Chymcakova enjoyed a fine run making her debut over 600m in 2:12.90.    



The first open meeting of the season was a successful one for the sprint squad athletes.  34 athletes competed on the day, including  8 new members who were competing in their debut races.  All of the athletes showed good early season form,  with a total of 35 personal bests set in their 100m and 200m races, a testament to how hard they have worked through the winter months.

The standout races on the day were heats 1 of the men’s 100m and 200m, which saw Cole Sinnott and Lewis-Morgan Barton run 2 very close races.  In the 100m, Cole was drawn in lane 2, while Lewis-Morgan was in lane 6, with Lewis-Morgan winning in 11.12 seconds, and  Cole finishing 2nd in 11.36 seconds.  Zorhann Giraud, in his 2nd season with the squad, ran a time of 11.45 seconds to finish 4th in the race. 


Lewis-Morgan Barton just edged out club rival Cole Sinnott in the 100m, with both setting the same time in the 200m

Cole and Lewis-Morgan were drawn in adjoining lanes in the 200m, which made for a very exciting race, with Cole leading the way around the bend and into the home straight. A final push from Lewis-Morgan in the last few strides of the races, however, saw both athletes go over the line together, both recording a time of 22.16 seconds, which was a personal best for both athletes.  Finishing 4th in that race was Tyrell Mukungunugwa, in his debut race over that distance, in a time of 23.47 seconds.

In heat 1, of round 1 of the women’s 100m, Elizabeth Reading won her race to set a new PB of 12.76 seconds.  Finishing in 2nd place was Harriet Cleaver in 13.16 seconds to open her season.  Holly Abbott just missed out on setting a new PB, finishing 3rd in 13.81 seconds, while Harriet’s sister, Culley, ran a PB of 13.89 seconds to finish 4th.  Harriet went on to compete in round 2 of the 100m, winning her race in 12.98 seconds.

Elizabeth Reading (30) with a fine new PB in the 100m in 12.76

In the U13 age group, Jayden Nyamekye Opoku, won his 75m race in a PB of 11.56 seconds.  Jackson Ahmadu set 2 PB’s in his races, 14.16 seconds in the 100m, and 30.73 seconds in the 200m.  Sophie Burnes in her first season as an U13, finished 3rd in her 100m race to lower the PB that she had set in the Chairman’s Cup last season to 14.2 seconds.  Darci Cleaver, in her 2nd season in that age group, set a PB of 15.08 seconds.  Both girls also set PB’s in their 200m races, with Sophie finishing 4th in her race, and Darci finishing 5th in her race in 32.50 seconds.

The standout performances in the U15 age group came from Aaron Ampofo who set a PB of 12.81 seconds in his 100m race, finishing 3rd, and winning his 200m race in 26.01 seconds.  He was followed home in the 200m by new squad member, Jeremy Huswu, who ran a time of 27.37 seconds.  Huswu had earlier finished 7th in his 100m race in 13.62 seconds.  Kessley Williams, who recently transferred to the club, also set new PB’s in his races, finishing 2nd in his 100m race in 13.34 seconds, and 3rd in his 200m in 27.44 seconds.

Also making her debut was Mara Cotnareanu, who ran two strong races, to win both the 100m and 200m in 13.47 seconds and 27.90 seconds respectively.  Olivia Humphrey, in her first season as an U15, finished in 2nd place to Mara in the 100m in a PB of 13.97 seconds. 

Neng Yang, U17, in his 2nd season in the squad, lowered his 100m time to 12.68 seconds, to finish 3rd in his 100m race.  Veteran woman, Wilika Carr, ran well in the 200m to finish in 7th place in 29.65 seconds, just missing out on setting a new PB.  Competing for the first time, Peter Kraftl, veteran, won his 100m race in 13.01, returning later in the day to compete in the 2nd round over that distance in which he finished 4th in 13.08 into a headwind of -2.1 metres per second.

Multi eventers, Lewis-Morgan Barton, Matilda Abbott, & Lucie Cleaver all also competed in the long jump which was held after the 100m races.  Lewis-Morgan put together a good series of jumps, finishing with a new PB of 6.48 metres. Matilda and Lucie, who had competed in other throwing and jumping events on the day, both also did well in this event, with Matilda jumping 3.69 metres, and Lucie jumping 3.67 metres. 



The inaugural KTH open meeting of the season provided an excellent platform for our Throws/Multi-Event Athletes to apply the technical skills honed during winter training. With many athletes transitioning to higher age categories, they faced increased implement weights. Despite this challenge, it was gratifying to witness several athletes surpassing their previous personal best distances.

A standout moment occurred in the Shot-Putt event, where 2nd-year U15B athlete Tiaan Claassens significantly improved his personal best from 11.66m to 12.71m, edging close to the club record set in 1990 at 13m. Additionally, U23M Jack Abbott and U15G Lucie Cleaver both achieved personal bests, recording distances of 9.30m and 7.21m, respectively.

In the Discus event, Jack was joined by his sister, U15 Matilda Abbott. Despite limited practice time in the cage, both athletes showcased improved techniques, achieving personal bests of 22.82m and 17.05m, respectively.

Late afternoon it was time for Javelin, the wind began to become temperamental for the throwers. U17B George Mills debuted with the 700g spear, joined by Matilda who was also adapted to new weight of 500g and Jack. Although George and Jack narrowly missed their previous distance personal bests, with 44.86m and 25.28m, Matilda achieved a new personal best of 19.96m, setting a promising tone for the upcoming season.



The high jump had a very good turnout of athletes from different squads and there was a chance for the athletes to use the brand new facilities on show with a competition standard high jump bed and uprights Stands, which was well received by all.

The Kettering High jumpers was off to a great start, with all 4 girls equalling their previous PB which bodes well at the start of the new outdoor season.

Multiple KTH awards night winner U17 Tallulah Dring was off to a great start with a fine competition to jump 1.45m with U15 Billi Robinson completing a jump of 1.40m. U15’s Lucie Cleaver best jump was 1.30m, with Esther Champman managing 1.25m. Sadly U17 Ellie Warboys was carrying a slight injury but still managed to Jump 1.30m.

Overall a highly promising start for the squad. 


With the next test for most athletes the upcoming KTH Bank Holiday May Open, incorporating the Amanda Marlow Mile, on May 06th there is a great opportunity for the athletes to get a few extra weeks training in.


Well done to everybody who competed.