Midland League match report #Kettering

The opening Midland senior league which caters for U17 athletes and older, saw the Harriers put in a fantastic performance to finish a comfortable 2nd place behind Leamington AC, a great start to the 2022 campaign. The meeting was held in fantastic conditions at the Kettering Town Harriers home track where there were great oppertunities for the athletes to impress and there were some brilliant individual and team performances on the day.


In the MD events the Harriers secured a number of ‘A’ & ‘B’ race wins with perhaps the best performance on the day in the Men’s 800m where Ben Brooker ran a tactical masterpiece and perhaps one of his best races over this distance. Brooker sat in on the first lap in a leisurely 59 sec and started to reel in in the opposition on the back straight, closing in the lead two athletes with a kick at 200m, Brooker kicked again at 120m to go and glided past the opposition to in the home straight with his second sub 2:00 clocking, recording  a new PB of 1:59.1 in a close race which saw the first 4 athletes finish within a second of each other. Dylan Bowley in his first 800m of the season ran well with 2:04.8 to finish 2nd in the ‘B’ race. In the womans 800m Abigail Thayanithy ran a very positive race smashing her PB by 9 seconds to finish in 3rd place with 2:28.2


Ben Brooker (4) with a brilliant race to take the Men's 800m race.


The Harriers secured an outright 1,2 in the Women’s 1500m with Steph Lawrie  opening up the race after 2 laps to open a commanding lead winning comfortably in 4:44 while Elana Albery secured the ‘B’ race won the 'A' 1500m race in 4:44.2 with a strong front running race, closely followed throughout by Elana Albery who won the B race in an PB of 4:55.5 to take maximum points. In the Men’s 1500m David Locker still struggling to return to full fitness after covid, had a terrific battle in the Men’s 1500m with Kettering’s ‘A’ runner Rio Carr who just managed to pip him to the line in 4:20.0, while Locker picked up maximum points in the ‘B’ race in 4:20.3


Steph Lawrie (4) and Eland Albery on route to win the Womens A & B 1500m races


In the 400m the MD squad again picked up some good points with Lucas Rogers finishing second the ‘A’ 400 in 53.5, while Dylan White continued his great form in the ‘B’ race with a fine win also in 51.4 just outside of an English Schools qualifier, and Emily Williams looking for a sharpener before her next 800m competed well in the 400m to win in a SB of 60.5


The 4x400m Relays saw the MD squad dominate with two brilliant wins, with the Womens team consisting of Abigail Thayanithy, Elana Albery, Steph Lawrie & Emily Williams taking the win from Solihull and Small Heath AC who had built a slight advantage in the first three legs the race, Williams ran a strong anchor leg with a decisive kick with 200m to go in a split identical to her individual win to lead the women home to a fine victory. Not to be outdone the Men’s also put in a brilliant performance. Again it was Solihull and Small Heath AC who set the pace early on but the quartet of Dylan White, Ben Brooker, Rio Carr, & Lucas Rogers remained within stiking didtance throughout with Rogers running a blinding final leg to make up 40m and cruise past Solihull and Small Heath into the lead with 150m to go for a sensational win.


The Men & Womens winning 4x400m teams left to right, Emily williams, Steph Lawrie, Ben Brooker, Rio Carr, Dylan White, Lucas Rogers, Elana Albery & Abigail Thayanithy


In the 5000m there was a rare outing for Matt Almond who ran a terrific race to finish in 2nd place in 16:45.10 closing down the leader all the way to the bell. Ellis Johnson making his 5k track debut ran well to finish in 2nd place in the ‘B’ race in 19:45.5  


In the Sprints The standout performances from the sprint squad came from U20 athlete, Ryan Amesimeku, who had a blisteringly fast finish to win the men’s 200m A race, and lower his personal best to 22.3 seconds.  Later in the day, he also ran a strong 100m race, winning in 11.4 seconds, to achieve maximum points for the club.  Luke Riches also won the men’s B 200m race in a time of 23.7 seconds.  The 100m men’s race saw Emmanuel Mbu put in a valiant effort.  Straining his hamstring at about 60m into the race, he continued to the end of the race to ensure that the club still scored points. Prior to this he had competed in the 200m as a non scorer and recorded a time of 23.4 seconds.


Ryan Amesimeku with two wins in the 100m & 200m & anchored the 4x100m to second place

In the women’s races, Elizabeth Reading did the double winning both the A stream 100m and 200m in times of 13.4 and 27.0 respectively.   Culley Cleaver, competing in the B stream 200m set a personal best of 28.7 seconds to finish 2nd in her race, while in the B 100m, Sonal Rathod won her race in a time of 13.6 seconds.  Toni Robinson was the sole competitor from the club to compete in the 100m hurdles on the day, finishing 2nd in the race in 18.9 seconds.


Elizabeth Reading winning the 100m & 200m and a fine 2nd place anchoring the 4x100m team

Both men and women’s teams finished 2nd in the 4 x 100m relays with the men recording a time of 47.20, and the women running 52.90 seconds.  Siblings, Jack and Holly Abbott both competed in the 100m and 200m as non scorers.  Jack ran times of 12.5 and 25.2 seconds, while Holly recorded 14.1 and 29.1 seconds.


There was also fine wins for Katie Gibson in the womans Hammer with a throw of 37.76m, with Lorna Barlow placing 2nd in the 'B' competiton with 19.91m. The high jump also produced a good point return with Pete Mills winning the 'B' competition with a jump of 1.55m & a fine PB equalling jump from Reinis Batna in the 'A' competiton for 2nd place with 1.71m 


Katie Gibson with a 37.76m throw to win the Women's Hammer



Members of the Sprint squad, (U17 women and U20 men’s relay teams) travelled to Birmingham to compete in the ClubConnect Relays which were held at the beginning of the Diamond League meeting.  The relays are part of British Athletics’ initiative that has the objective of recognising and rewarding the significant contributions made by clubs in supporting athletes through all levels of their athletics journeys. 

Both teams were competing against some of the fastest relay teams in the country, including Croydon Harriers who swept the table by winning all 4 races on the day.  The women’s team included, in running order, Sonal Rathod, Elizabeth Reading, Culley Cleaver, and Jasmine Anderson.  All athletes put in some strong performances and the team finished 5th in their race, in 52.12 seconds, beating Herne Hill Harriers in the process. 

Joshua Wenje, Luke Riches, William Rawcliffe, and Ryan Amesimeku were on the men’s team.  It was a close run race on the final leg that saw Ryan Amesimeku managing to hold off Herne Hill Harriers to finish 5th, and the team setting a club record of 44.28 seconds, which currently ranks them 10th in the UK.  The teams were a credit to the club on the day.  The athletes spent the rest of the day watching the Diamond League action, and getting autographs and photos taken with the international athletes.