Top performers at the Open Meeting

Last year Kettering Town Harriers welcomed Louise Hazel to the summer Open Meeting. A few weeks later she was crowned Commonwealth Games Heptathlon champion in Delhi. Sadly, Louise couldn't attend this year's Open, as she has some business to attend to in South Korea, but there were several other top performers appearing at the Leisure Village Track on what turned out to be a bright sunny day.

Hazel's fellow Birchfield Harrier Peter Whitehouse blazed round 800m in spectacular fashion. In what amounted to a personal time trial in difficult windy conditions (of course!), his time of 1.54 was very impressive. Almost the length of the straight behind him was KTH's Josh Coles, who nevertheless knocked four seconds off his PB with a 2.07 clocking.

Also running by himself was number 2 ranked Under 13 1500m runner Hugo Milner from Derby AC. He failed narrowly in his quest to go to the top of the list, but 4.33 represented a superb effort.

But perhaps the biggest name taking part was former GB international long jumper Steve Phillips. An 8 metre jumper in his prime, he is still ranked in the top 10 in the UK all time list. Now nearly 40, he leaped 7.09m, his best for about 6 years, consolidating his place at the top of the national Veteran-35 rankings. This somewhat overshadowed Aidan Bailey's commendable PB (4.54m).

We were pleased to welcome two young athletes from Jersey, one of whom (Florence Gothard) won the Under-11 600m, and there was a smattering of personal bests for the younger Harriers.

Bradley Fox cleared 1.75m for the first time. He also set new marks in the discus and javelin, as did Niamh Bailey. Lorna Milne improved her 100m (14.0) and Long Jump (3.78), whilst Evie Horsley, making her first appearance for some time, set new bests in the 100m and 200m. Under 15 boy Courtney Williams improved his 200m time to 25.5, whilst Harriet Sumnall, Annie Gilbert and Freya Marlow all got PBs in the Javelin.

Towards the other end of the age spectrum, there were season's bests for two members of the successful KTH Veterans team: Bronwynne Smit in the 200m (32.2) and Gregg Smith in the High Jump (1.40m).

Although entries were down by 20% on the equivalent meeting last year, perhaps due to the early morning rain and a clash with the AAA Age Group championships in Bedford, there was good competitive action throughout the day. Thanks are due to all the volunteers who helped out in any way.