Watford weaves its magic again

Buoyant from the success at the weekends county championships a number of the middle distance squad were in action over 800m at Watford open meeting, and with no wind and a cool evening temperature conditions were perfect for setting fast times.

First in action were 800m specialist U15 Rebecca Hughes & U17 Claudia Nevett who was running only her second ever 800m race, both girls set off at a quick pace and split at the bell in a fast 69 seconds, Claudia Nevett strength from her 3k/ 1500m showed on the second lap as she ran strongly right through to the line to finish in 7th place and record a massive new 10 second PB of 2:23.74, Rebecca also finishing strongly over the last 100m followed up on her weekends 3 second PB with another lifetime best of 2:25.11 to finish in 9th place.

U13 Emily Williams fresh from her double gold at the county championships was next in action and was racing fellow Harrier U17 Beth Gordon who is slowly returning to form. Beth set off at a terrific pace to lead the group through the first 300m with Emily sat nicely in the pack, both girls split at the bell at 69 seconds with Beth pushing on strong through the back straight, and Emily just catching her breath after the quick opening lap settling on the back of the pack, Beth continued to push hard eventually finishing with a seasons best of 2:22.74 in 7th position just outside of her lifetime best, with Emily able to find something extra to kick at 200m finishing strongly to ensure she also ran a superb 3 second PB to finish in 11th place with 2:24.46, the fastest U13 of the night, she now sits inside the top 10 in the UK rankings.

The final race saw U20 Fran Ashworth in action along with U13 Henri Codling, Fran who always performs well at Watford was looking for a new PB and English schools qualification mark of 2:16 again ran an excellent race, tracking the leaders all the way and splitting at 67 seconds, she continued to hold her position on the shoulder of Highgate’s U17 Alistair Sleeman and kicked hard off the final bend to win impressively, but despite the amazing fact that she exactly equalled her 3 year old PB of 2:16.31 she was marginally outside of the ES qualification time, by an agonising 0.3 seconds, but she will take massive confidence from another superb performance into her next few races. Henri after huge recent improvements in his 800 time found things tough and never really got into the race following some buffeting on the first bend, and lost a little heart after being last through the bell to finish in a respectable 2:24.10, just a few seconds off his PB, and will take much from his disappointment in the race as a valuable learning experience.

All athletes look to be coming to the boil nicely and all will certainly be looking to go faster over the next 4-6 weeks.