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Medals won at Indoor Championships!

Middle Distance

There were a number of medals secured by the in-form KTH Middle Distance squad at the Midland Counties Indoor Championships, held at the Barclaycard area in Birmingham culminating in a majestic performance from bottom year U17 Emily Williams who won the 800m to become the Midland Counties Indoor Champion.

Emily Williams Midland Counties indoor Champion U17 W 800m

 

The indoor season gives athletes who are fully engaged in the Cross Country Race season the chance to stretch their legs and see where they are in terms of 800m pace for the start of the track season now just a few months away. There was a strong squad of 8 athletes, most of who had never ran indoors, who had decided to compete over the shorter 200m banked track held in the impressive Barclaycard Area which plays host to Mo Farah & Laura Muir this weekend!

On day 1 it was the turn for the Senior Women & U20’s and this proved to be a successful start, with Senior Woman Krisztina Kurucz, an experienced indoor athlete competing many times in her native county of Hungary, securing a fine Silver medal in a time of 2:35.67 and show she is in good shape for the forthcoming track season.

Krisztina Kurucz runner up Silver medal in Senior Womens 800m

The bottom year U20 Women pairing of Sophie Moss & Amy Robinson put in very credible performances in their heats with the former finishing in 5th in 2:34.01 in her heat, and Robinson also finishing in 5th in her heat with 2:37.40, both sadly just missing out in the final.

On day 2 it was the turn of the U17 squad members, and Thomas Jawad was the first in action and making his debut indoors with a straight final in the men’s 800m, he ran well with a solid performance, perhaps just struggling a little over the last 200m, but he was easily able to secure a fine Bronze medal in 2:12.35.

Bronze medal for U17 Tomas Jawad in the 800m

The quartet of U17 Women headed by bottom year Emily Williams were all keen to compete and test their early season speed, and with only the first two places guaranteed to qualify, along with the two fastest losers, the athletes had to ensure they were alert.

The first heat one of the first races of the day featured indoor debutant Harriett Jolley who ran a solid race to finish in 4th place in 2:36.31, although her time was sadly not sufficient to progress through to the final.

Heat 2 featured Emily Williams & Charlotte Maywood both making their indoor debuts, and Poppy Carmichael who had won this event as an U15’s 2 years ago, and looking to test her fitness following a series of niggling injuries. Emily Williams took charge of the race from the start and controlled the pace throughout, ensuring qualification with a comfortable 2:25.65, the quickest qualification time of the day. There was a terrific race between Poppy Carmichael and Charnwood’s Neve Grimes and she finished the race strongly gaining on Grimes who finished in third place to run her fastest time for nearly 2 years with 2:27.18, and looking forward to her favoured 800m distance for the 2017 outdoor track season. Charlotte Maywood also ran a strong race & looked in good shape finishing in in 5th place with 2:34.39 just a second of her 2016 PB.

Emily Williams, courtesy of her winning her heat, and Poppy Carmichael one of the fastest runner up times both made the final which was ran later in the afternoon at 16:45 allowing both time to take on some food and recover.

The U17 Women’s final was a crackerjack of a race, with Emily Williams and Stroud & District Annie Testar, both U15 English school 800m finalists from 2016, going head to head, and the added spice of the race being streamed on Facebook live! With a modest opening lap of 34 seconds, followed by a hugely tactical second lap of 39 seconds the race was a cautious affair and as the race progressed the tension was mounting with the whole field bunched and nobody wanting to take the race on, it was wide open with 400m to go.

After the completion of the second lap the race suddenly took off with an electric injection of pace from Williams who had decided she was going to take charge of the race after 400m, she eased into the lead and completely opened up the field, with Testar trying to hang on for company. Williams continued to push hard with the third lap split a swift 32 seconds, and she increased the gap from Testar with the final bend to finish a comfortable winner in 2:17.37 by over 2 seconds, with a scintillating last lap of 31 seconds (63 second for the last 400m) showing she is still carrying terrific speed through the Cross Country season. Poppy Carmichael, perhaps suffering slightly with the successive races finished in 5th place in 2:30.17 and she will certainly take much positivity from her two performances.

Emily Williams superb speed over the final 400m to win the U17 W 800m Gold medal

Emily was delighted to take her first indoor title at the first attempt and hugely enjoyed the experience of running a tactical race, and based on this performance she will be looking to continue the success she enjoyed outdoors in 2016. Coach Shane Smith was delighted with her performance, and her first indoor championship title “pre-race we had decided that Emily would not take the race on from the start and for her to sit in for the first 2 laps and try to take control of the inside lane at 400m and inject some pace, she executed the plan perfectly and the phenomenal change of pace to take the race on was breath-taking, and hugely encouraging at this stage of the season. He added, “Emily has been in magnificent shape in training, working very hard with the top male athletes in the squad and she is now reaping the rewards”.

All in all it was an encouraging weekend, and with focus for most of the squad now firmly on the mud with the remaining Cross Country Championship races, the first of which is the English National on 25th February.

Sprint Squad

There was just a single competitor from the sprint squad as Erin Healy took a break from her busy winter training schedule to compete indoors for the first time in two years.

On Saturday she competed in the 60m sprint for U17 women. She opened up the day by recording a personal best time of 8.17 seconds when she finished 2nd in her heat. She followed this up by again finishing 2nd in her semi-final in a time of 8.20 seconds to ease into the final later in the day where to finish a creditable 6th in the final in a time of 8.18 seconds, showing remarkable consistency.

Erin Healy had a busy weekend, making the 60m final and 200m semi-finals

The following day Erin returned to compete in the 200m finishing 2nd in her heat with 26.95, progressing through her heat to the make the semi-final, where she finished 3rd recording a time of 26.83 seconds. She unfortunately just missed out on qualifying for the final in this event but can be immensely proud of the way that she ran on the day. Erin now looks forward to final preparations for the forthcoming outdoor track season, which based on her early season indoor form is sure to be an exciting 2017.

Well done to all athletes who competed.