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Two UK number 1ís for in form Harriers!

It's been a spectacular return to competiton for the Harriers Middle Distance Squad, with x2 athletes heading the UK rankings U13 Jemima Davey in the 1500m & U15 Alice Bennett in the 800m.

Two UK No1's Jemima Davey (U13 1500m) & Alice Bennett (U15 800m)

Its been a busy few weeks for the KTH Middle distance squad, finally back in action following the unique circumstances of the 2020 track season, which had resulted in athletes solo training during lock down, and training in unfamiliar/ smaller training groups for a large part of the season.

The athletes have worked tremendously hard during this period, remaining positive and optimistic, resulting in excess of 100 personal bests from the squad during the resumption to track training & racing. Some of the time will remain unofficial (set in time trials) but most importantly the athletes & coaches are aware of the good progress that has been made by many in the squad.

There have been a series of open meetings in the past few weeks culminating in some truly spectacular outcomes with two athletes heading the UK rankings, Jemima Davey UK No1 for U13 1500m & Alice Bennett UK No1 for U15G 800m. Jessica Lamb also heads the UK for U11 800m as well, although U11 more typically run over 600m. There have also been a significant number of PB’s set during this period.

At the Rugby Open meeting on 05th September in the 1500m bottom year U13 Jemima Davey set an official time of 4:57.8 to head the U13G UK rankings as a bottom year athlete, Jemima had run quicker over a time trial (4:52.82) so clearly has potential to significantly progress further in this event during her 2nd full year in the AG. Davey had been upgraded to the U15B race to ensure she had some good competition, and this paid off with a terrific race to finish in 4th place overall. Davey also ran over 800m a week earlier in cold, wet & windy conditions to set a terrific time of 2:28.3 to sit in 16th place in the UK rankings.

Jemima Davey terrific race to head the U13G ranbkings for 1500m

Alice Bennett followed suit in the 800m Setting the UK leading time of 2:15.2 in a terrific race which also included Harriers U15 Dylan White who ran a 2 second PB (2:17.5) & U15 Lucas Rogers who ran a 5 second PB (2:19.0), and the U13 G UK number 1 athlete Shaikira King who sits 6th on the UK all-time list for U13G with her time of 2:15.3. Bennett was upgraded to the U15B race to ensure a fast race and this proved to be a good tactic as she set a 1.5 second Seasons best with a typical gutsy run. Bennett has had a difficult season which included a growth related injury just as the racing season was opening up, but she is now coming into great form and will be hoping to set a PB later over the next few weeks.

Alice Bennett coming into great form heading the U15G UK rankings for 800m

Jessica Lamb who has seen a remarkable improvement since joining the Harriers late last year, slashing over 30 seconds from her 800m PB. Lamb still an U11, would normally have competed over 600m but she opted to ran over the slightly longer distance of 800m and set a terrific time of 2:37.3 which is the UK leading time for U11’s, and she also looks to have a bright future. The squad has a fantastic number of talented youngsters coming through the ranks. U11 Evie Brooker who is making significant improvement since joining the MD after lockdown, ran a fabulous new 800m PB slashing over 30 seconds from her best to record a brilliant time of 2:47.7. Both Yr4 Bella Lamb & yr5 Rafferty Davey put in brilliant performances in the U11 triathlon event U11 (600m, 75m & long jump), both winning their 600m races, Lamb in 2:13.6 & Davey in 2:05.0. Both also showed their speed credentials finishing 2nd & 4th respectively in the 75m.

Jess Lamb brillint improvement this seasn and has set the fastest U11 800m time this year

U15 Lara Turner, opting to run at the Trafford open meeting was richly rewarded for the slightly longer journey and typical Mancunian weather with a brilliant new PB smashing through the 5:00 barrier for the first time to record a fantastic time of 4:55.0 which see her sit 21st in the UK rankings. Turner who has also seen a strong improvement since joining the Harriers has sliced over 17 seconds from her 1500m time, and also seen a 10 second improvement in her 800m setting 2:26.44 a week earlier.

Lara Turner leading the Kett Open 1500m race, dipped below the 5:00 mark with 4:55.0

Other Harriers enjoying success over the past few weeks are U17 Josh Geddes who has improved his 800m time by over 30 seconds recording his PB of 2:02.35 at the KTH open, U17 Ben Brooker has also set a PB over 800m of 2:08.42 along with U15 Lucas Mansell who has improved his time by over 20 seconds to 2:19.56. Amelia McMurtrie has peppered her 800m/ 1500m PB with a series of fine races and sits inside the UK top 25 Rankings over 1500m. Also in the 1500m Rio Carr set a new PB of 4:33.32. Veteran athletes have also enjoyed much success with V45 Tony James who has been rolling back the years and ran his fasted 800m for 2 years to recorded a fine time of 2:06.26 which ranks him 4th in the UK. Vet 50 Alex McMurtrie also hit fine form and finally broke his 2017 800m PB to sit 23rd in the UK with 2:27.2.

With just a few weeks of competition left some athletes have decided to draw a line under the 2020 track season, other will try to compete to maximise their opportunities in what has been a very short season.

Well done to everyone who have continued to train and work hard during the Covid Pandemic & the lock down measures, the measure of a 100 PB (Some official, others not) within the squad speaks volumes and is easily comparable with more normal track seasons.