Youngsters make a winning start in new league

The Harriers Young Athletes team made a winning start in their first appearance in the Heart of England League, the results of which have only just been received.

Having transferred from the UKA League, due to its ridiculous schedule in the early part of the season, we had to begin in the bottom division of the Heart of England. We suspected the standard of competition may not be so high. Overall, this proved to be true as several clubs failed to provide many athletes, but on an individual level most of the Harriers had some good opposition to compete against, and they rose to the challenge.

For example, whilst the boys were comfortably overall winners, there was only one A string first place in the Under 13s (Gabrial Smith in the High Jump) and the Under 15s (Jack Hope in the 1500m). Kettering's strength in middle-distance paid off in the Under 17s, as Edward Cherry and Matt Stewart effectively dead-heated in the 800m and Josh Coles and Liam Smith took the A and B string 1500m. Ed also added victory in the Long Jump with 5.30m.

On the girls side, KTH were top scorers in all three age groups. Again there was a full house in the middle-distance as Beth Gordon, Hannah Winstone, Tabbi Walford and Izzy Cara took maximum points in the Under 13 800m and 1500m. Annie Gilbert doubled up with wins in the discus and the shot.

Jodie Harris was unbeatable over 100m and 200m for the Under 15s, with Evie Horsley and Lauren Mehmet taking the B-Strings. Full points over 800m and 1500m were gained thanks to Maisie Green, Fran Ashworth, Abby Coleman and Gemma Vaughan, whilst Daisy Gilbert emulated her sister's achievement by winning the shot and high jump. Harriet Sumnall was the winner in the discus.

A peculiarity of the league is that senior and veteran women can compete with the Under 17s. This benefitted Kettering, as Gemma Elliott won the 100, 200 and 300m. Niamh Bailey, resting from the track, won the High Jumps.

And KTH rounded off the meeting with victory in all three female 4 X 100m relays.

The next meeting is a home one, on 23rd July. We can take a huge step towards sealing promotion by winning on our own track. The final fixture is on Saturday 3rd September at Kidderminster. Please book the date!