KTH 2023 Track Season Opener

The first Harriers floodlit open of the season was a great chance for all the athletes to test themselves at the start of the 2023 Track season, and also a chance to blow away any of the cobwebs from the winter period.


The open was a terrific event, with 42 Harriers setting new PB’s despite still quite cold and windy conditions on the night, still quite some way short of the expected temperatures mid-April.


With the throws open held just a few days earlier the event was just track, with the usual sprint distances and some more unusual middle distance races of 1,000m & 2,000m to test the Endurance athletes. The 1k was a popular choice and saw some of the evenings best racing with the ‘A’ race producing 11 PB’s.


The 'A' 1000m gets underway and produced 11 PB's on the night


In the men’s race Ben Brooker made an early claim for glory, taking the race out hard from the start he had built up a considerable lead with 400m to go but the Bell produced an immediate response from R&N Louis Starr who put in an impressive last lap to challenge Brooker and take the lead with 150m to go, Brooker responded and the two battled down the home straight with Starr just getting the nod in 2.37.73, with Brooker in 2nd in 2:38.35, both setting PB’s. V45 David Locker ran a fine race to finish in 3rd in 2:45.81, with U20 Lucas Rogers running well in 4th (2:49.08), with U17 Dylan Ransom (2:54.36), U20 Ellis Johnson (2:59.91) also running well.


Ben Brooker opens up a big gap on the opening lap


The women’s race was a classic with KTH’s two top U20’s Alice Bates & Alice Bennett battling it out in an event which intriguingly splits their individual specialists events. Bates the 1500m specialist took out the race with 800m specialist Bennett in hot pursuit, this continued until the final bend when both girls put in their final finishing effort. Fighting hard all the way down the home straight it was Bates who impressively managed to hold of the fast finishing Bennett and take the win in 2:52.21, almost 5 seconds quicker than her opening 1k race in 2022 and reversing the defeat suffered by Bennet on that occasion. Bennet set an impressive 1.2 second PB and will take heart that she appears to have wintered well showing good endurance at the over distance event, and she will again race over distance over 1500m before she begins her challenge to qualify for the Commonwealth Youth Games in Trinidad & Tobago over her preferred 800m distance.


Superb Battle between Alice Bates (261) & Alice Bennett, with Bates just holding her rival off.


Bates who enjoyed a hugely impressive winter seeing her dominate the U20 cross country AG with her first GB selection in cross country in December, cut short the busy winter season to ensure she was well recovered for the 2023 track season, with qualification for the GB U20 Champs in Jerusalem her main target. Bates has been working on her speed and will consider racing over 3,000m next and she will be keen to test her speed endurance over 800m later in the season. U15 Jemima Davey made her debut over the distance with 3:06.41 and she enjoyed a fine battle with younger sibling U13 Rafferty Davey (3:06.92) just managing to claim bragging rights buy holding off a determined challenge 30m from the finish, while Chelsie Locker & Maggie Gancheva opened their tack season with solid runs with 3:08.71 & 3:14.24 respectively in what was still a very early season test.


In the 1k ‘B’ race U15 Zachary Scott continued his fine start to the season with an impressive front running display to finish in 3:01.95, with U17 James Clutton in 2nd place in 3:12.95, both debuting at this distance. U13 Oliver smith set an impressive 13 second PB for 3rd place (3:15.55), with U15 Iona Ellwood also setting an impressive 10 second PB for 4th (3:21.92) and U13 Joshua Spavins making his KTH track debut also shaved 15 seconds of his PB with a fine run for 3:24.96. V55 Alex McMurtrie (3:26.86) ran well with U13 Sabrina Lawton fresh from her 100m race earlier in the night showed impressive endurance as well with 3:34.30, with U17 Charlotte Jackson running her first ever track race showing good potential with 3:38.42. U20 Julia Buzuk & U13 Hannah Brown ran solid openers with 4:06.29 & 4:32.83 respectively.     


Zachary Scott with an impressive win in the 'B' 1000m race



The 2k race saw a fine run from U17 Evan Willis who powered away from club colleague U17 Joseph Pickering on the final lap to claim victory over Pickering in 6:25.11, with Pickering finishing well in 2nd place in 6:38.71. Two of the up and coming U15’s Harlee Hooker & Finley Brooker both enjoyed a fine battle with Hooker securing victory in a 46 second PB with 6:50.60, while Brooker also set a 5 sec PB in 6:52.55.   


Evan Willis impressive win in the 2,000m race


In the longer 400m sprints both U17 Dylan White & U20 Lucas Rogers opened their season with solid runs with 53.15 & 53.47 respectively.


Sprints Roundup


The first open meeting of the season saw some great performances from athletes in the sprint squad.  Undoubtedly, the best two performances on the night came from U11 girl, Sophie Burnes, who won her 75m and 150m races in personal best times of 11.25 seconds and 21.86 seconds respectively. 


Sophie Burnes and outstanding start to the season with PB's in the 100m & 200m

Ryan Amesimeku, U20, and Cole Sinnott, U23, both posted their fastest season openers in the 100m and 200m.  Ryan ran in both races posting times of 11.18 seconds in the 100m, finishing 3rd to Harry Taylor of City of Norwich and Ade Adewale of Enfield & Haringey, who both ran 10.81 seconds.  He then joined Cole and competed in the 200m against Taylor who won in a time of 21.86 seconds, with Ryan following him in in a time of 22.69 seconds, and Cole in 3rd place in 22.97 seconds. 


Ryan Amesimeku a great start to season with both his 100m & 200m races

Emmanuel Mbu, U23, made a good start to his season, finishing 2nd in his 200m race in a time of 23.68 seconds.  Caleb Corstin, U23, and Pasidu Warnakulasuriya, U20, both ran PBs’ in their 100m races, posting times of 12.82 seconds and 12.68 seconds respectively.  Injuries curtailed the performances of U20 athletes Harriet Cleaver and Holly Abbott.  They ran times of 13.57 seconds and 14.21 seconds to finish 5th and 7th in their individual races.  U20 athletes, Zorhann Giraud and Lenon Muma,  in their first races for the Harriers, ran 12.10 seconds and 12.16 seconds in their 100m, and 24.79 seconds and 25.43 seconds in the 200m. 

Aaron Ampofo, U13, took a second off of his previous personal best when he won his 100m race in a time of 13.64 seconds.  Also achieving a PB in that age group was Matilda Abbott who set a time of 15.63 seconds to finish in 4th place in her race. Jackson Ahmadu, making his debut in the U13 age group, ran a strong race in the 100m to finish 2nd to Northampton’s U15 athlete, Nadjoa Mensah, in 14.85 seconds.  Mensah’s time was 14.37 seconds.  Jackson later went on to finish 4th in his 200m race in a time of 32.66 seconds. 


KTH younger sprinters in action with Jackson Ahmadu (256) racing well in the 100m & 200m

Keaton Spruce, and Rosa Currie also competed in the U13 age group for the first time.  They were joined by Darci Cleaver who was competing over the 100m distance for the 2nd time. They ran times of 16.38, 16.22, and 16.17 seconds which were good season opening times for their age.  Darci’s sister, Lucie, a multi eventer, ran times of 15.81 and 34.77 seconds to finish in 5th place in both of her races.

Aidan Hooks, U15, set new PBs’ in both of his races. In the 100m, he lowered his time to 13.82 seconds, and followed that up with a 200m run of 28.88 seconds.  He finished 2nd in both races.  Making his debut for the Harriers at this meeting was U15 boy Neng Yang.  He finished 4th in his 100m race in a time of 13.15 seconds, and 6th in his 200m in 26.67 seconds.  Sophie Panther, U15, was unfortunate to just miss out on breaking her 100m PB, with a run of 15.82 seconds, finishing 6th in her race.  Meanwhile, her training partner, Billi Robinson, also an U15, finished 4th in her race in 15.61 seconds.  Serena Warnakulasuriya, also an U15 athlete, came 3rd in her 100m race in a time of 15.16 seconds, and 5th in her 200m in 31.85 seconds.


Aiden Hooks running a new PB in the 200m after setting a PB in the 100m

Elizabeth Reading, U17, opened her season well by equalling her 100m PB of 13.19 seconds  to finish 4th in her race.  In the 200m, she finished 3rd in 27.10 seconds. Abina Soares Da Gama & Ellie Warboys, both also in the U17 age group, ran 13.55 seconds and 14.02 seconds respectively, with Abina running a PB.

Finally, veteran athlete, and 100m & 200m club record holder, Wilika Carr, ran a good season opener of 14.74 seconds in the 100m to finish 6th


Well done to all the athletes who participated in a brilliant season opener.