Victory for Young Athletes

The Harriers Young Athletes had a great day at Burton on Trent as they recorded their first win of the season in the UKA League, defeating the home club and Sutton-in-Ashfield.

There were many fine performances, but pride of place should perhaps go to Alice Chapman, who was competing in her last Young Athletes' fixture. Goodness knows how many points she's won for the club over the years, and she signed off with victory in the 200m, with a time of 26.4 seconds.

Three other long-serving members of the team won a hat-trick of victories. Bradley Fox won the Under 15 100m in a swift 12.4, the High Jump with 1.45 and he also notched a PB in the Long Jump (5.32m). Though far from fully fit, Niamh Bailey ran a fine PB of 43.2 in the Under 17 300m, and she also won the 100m (12.9) and the High Jump.

Field event expert Daisy Gilbert took first places in the Under 15 Javelin, High Jump and Shot, where she put a PB of 7.60m.

It was pleasing to see some of the club's new recruits performing well, including Jodie Harris, who won the Under 13 100m and 200m and Ysabel Rees, who took second places in the Under 15 versions of the same events. Harriet Sumnall won the Discus with a PB.

Back to the track, and Ethan Mehmet showed his versatility in winning both the Under 13 200m (29.9) and 800m (2.44) and Matt Stewart was impressive over 100m and 400m. There was a clutch of relay wins for the Harriers, with the Under 17 Girls' 4x100m perhaps the best, recording 52.5, which is good enough for the national rankings.

The middle-distance runners were again in fine form with Gemma Vaughan winning the Under 13 race and Gina Diaz-Santana making a victorious debut at the shorter distance, with 2.33. In the same race Lauren Mehmet dipped under 3 minutes for the first time.

Over the longer distances, there were outstanding performances from Jack Hope and Josh Cara in the 1500m, both recording 4.57.6.

In a thrilling race, Josh set the early pace and went out with a 30m lead after the first lap; Jack was in 4th position and started to push on strongly to move into second position by the bell. At this point Josh still had a 20m lead. Jack gradually closed in on his team mate and with 100m to go they were neck and neck, with each surging ahead of the other in the final straight only to be matched; they fought all the way and crossed the line together. Josh got the verdict, but Jack's time was a PB.

In the Under 13 Girls 1200m Maisie Green ran suprebly again to lead from start to finish, recording the first ever sub-4 minute time by a KTH athlete, which puts her at number 15 in the UK rankings. Maisie was awarded the club's girl athlete of the match, alongside Gabriel Smith who made a big contribution in several events.

Finally, it was good to see athletes achieving success in events they rarely compete in. This included Liam Kirk winning the Javelin, Daniel Waples the Discus and Alex Smith the High Jump and Discus.

It would be wrong to finish without thanking the support team. Sarah and Dick did a great job in managing the team. Andre, Aidan, Angie, Jamie and Gregg all put in good shifts as officials. Last, but certainly not least, a big vote of thanks goes to Russell Chapman for all his efforts over several years supporting our UKA YAL squad in a host of practical ways.