McMurtrie Grabs Midlands Championship Gold!

Midland Counties U20 Championships


U20 Amelia McMurtrie powered her way to a brilliant Midland Counties U20 800m title to head up a stunning weekend of running for the inform Harriers Middle Distance Squad, which saw some amazing performances in a busy weekend of racing.


Amelia McMurtrie with her first major championship title


McMurtrie fresh from recent 4 second PB went into the championship in a buoyant mood, but was slightly disappointed to learn that qualifying heats would be necessary, despite the ability to run a single race of 10 athletes, championship rules were applied, but in the searing heat x2 races in just over 2 hours is a tall order.


Unphased McMurtrie went into the first heat know that a top 3 finish would see her qualify. The race went off at a good pace with all athletes giving it their best shot, McMurtrie ran a tactically sound race, sitting in and using her pace to ease through the heat in 2nd place in a fast time of 2:17.22, her second fastest time ever, to safely qualify.


With just 2 hours recovery and then preparation for the final McMurtrie was slightly concerned that the fast qualifying heat in the hot conditions would have tired her out but she needn’t of worried, running a terrific tactical race in the final. The race got off to a fast start as McMurtrie found herself in the front after 120m, she sensibly slowed the race to a crawl until someone else took up the pace, which happed at the 200m mark. Sitting in on the new leader and splitting in a tactical 69 seconds, the race really took off with 300m to go when Sophie Dunbobin took the lead, McMurtrie responded immediately, preventing the wave that followed Dunbobin's move from boxing her in by making the brave decision to take the race on with 200m to go. The decision paid off as she looked tremendously strong and continued to push the pace on the final bend powering her way to a majestic win by over half a second from Dunbobin in her second fastest time ever 2:16.6, a result that never looked in doubt once she had hit the front. This is McMurtrie's first major title win, and a brilliant achievement from one of the squads most consistently hard-working athletes.


Fantastic Tactical race from McMurtrie to secure a championship Gold


McMurtrie now head off for the England Athletics U20 Championships in a weeks’ time at Bedford in a race brimming with the UK’s best U20 athletes in a European U20 Championships trial race.


BMC Watford Grand Prix


Indienne King again put in a brilliant performance to slice a further second from her 3 day old PB, which was set midweek at the Birmingham BMC Gold Standard with another stunning run, competing at the prestigious BMC Grand Prix at Watford in the women’s ‘B’ race, full of higher ranked athletes. King got off to her customary good start and settled into the pack, splitting in a fast 61.5 sec, during the back straight she started to loose ground finding herself in 6th place and 25m off the leading pack leading into the final straight, but King produced another terrific surge of pace to storm home in the final 100m to finish in 5th place less than half a second from 2nd place in a new PB of 2:07.51. The time was also a new U20 club record, bettering the mark by the slimmest of margins, 0.01sec and consolidates her ranking of UK 3rd U20.


Indienne King fantastic new PB & U20 Club Record of 2:07.51

King now goes into the European U20 Trial race/ U20 championships in a week’s time as the 2nd highest ranked athlete, looking for a top 3 placing and a sub 2:06 time to earn possible selection for the European U20 Championships in Estonia in July. Her time also gets her an invite to the Muller British Athletics Championships & Olympic trials on 25-27th June where she will be competing against some of the world best 800m athletes from GB & Northern Ireland.


Also racing at the BMC at Watford was in form bottom year U17 Alice Bennett who was tripped in her last 800m at the Sports City BMC GP when set for a sub 2:10 clocking, not such issues this time as she got away cleanly in the Women’s ‘D’ race and settled in behind the front runner and eventual winner U23 Rebecca Bullock. Bennett sat in behind and powered her way to her first sub 2:10 clocking and a 0.5 second PB of 2:09.89 to consolidate her position as 6th fastest English U17 before the English schools’ selections are finalised next weekend. Alice Bates competing in the 1500m ran another National Standard time of 4:39.13 but failed to improve on her 4:36 PB.