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Young Guns star at Midland League Opener

The up and coming youngsters from the Harriers took centre stage in the opening Midland Senior League fixture, held at a disappointingly chilly Leamington Edmondscote stadium, hosted by Daventry AC. Many of the younger U17 were competing for the first time in the league, but showed little nerves as they took control in their respective events to ensure the Harriers finished in a far more respectable position than a year earlier. With more events in the throws & jumps filled the Harriers would have finished mid table, but without these additional points sadly we managed no better than 7th place on the day.

Undoubted highlights of the day were the U17 Women, Erin Healy & Emily Williams who showed dominant form to win the 100/ 200m double & the 800/ 400m double respectively.

Bottom year U17 Erin Healy who managed to secure key English Schools qualification times for both the 100m & 200m was in fine form winning a hard fought 200m with a stunning race to win by the closest of margins, just 0.1 second from Dudley & Stourbridge’s Lucy Jones setting a new PB & ES qualification time of 26.0. Erin then went on to win the 100m with a superb run, showing she means business this season, again setting a PB & ES quali time of 12.6 to win by similarly close margin of 0.2 of a second from Jones. Erin showed true determination and strength in both events to hold off strong challenges and will look to build on these fine performances going forward.

Erin Healy ran English Schools times with both her 100m & 200m victories

Bottom year U17 Emily Williams fresh from her opening 1500m a few day earlier, was in action in the 800m with intentions to just to take the race steady, she duly obliged by controlling the opening lap on the inside lane and responded on the back straight to stretch the race with 300m to to comfortably win with 2:17.2 four seconds ahead of second place, to open her 800m season with another English Schools qualification time. With just 90 mins recovery Williams then returned in her first ever competitive 400m race to run a scintillating to storm into the lead on the first bend and comfortably holding off a challenges from Stratford on Avon’s jess Sheppard to record an impressive victory with a super time of 59.2, to underline her undoubted potential in the longer sprints.

Emily Williams supeb wins in womens 800m & 400m

In other Middle distance events the Carmichael sisters, Poppy & Lilly, competing for KTH for the first time on Track both won their respective season opening races with Poppy running an excellent 800m B race to finish third overall with 2:24.2 to record her best time for an 800m for over 2 years to show she is on course for challenging for an English Schools quali time this season. Lily imposed herself on the 1500m, and won comfortably with a fine display of front running with 5:15.9 and she also will look to transfer this pace into her specialist steeplechase event and will feel confident of challenging also for an ES quali time in the next 6 weeks.

In other events Krisztina Kurutcz ran well in the B string for third place with a respectable opening 400m time of 65.8 & Vet Tony James had a busy afternoon running a terrific race in the men’s A 800m for third place in 2:14.2 closing in on the Vet 45 Club Record, and he also enjoyed a fine run in the A 400m with 57.6, with U17 debutant jack Watson running his first ever 400m race recording a respectable 60.9. Josh Cannell recorded a new 1500m PB in his opening race with 4:40.9 for 4th place, while older brother Edward Cannell ran a fine 5k in 17:04.3 also for 4th place ahead of Ross Brown who set a new track 5k PB of 18:31.5 for a fine 3rd place in the B string race. Babs Poncia was the sole KTH athlete in the 3k, running well to finish in second place in 13:19.2.

Also competing for the Sprint group was Niamh Ruffles, who ran 14.5 in the 100m B race and finished 5th, and Niamh Monaghan, who ran 29.4 in the 200m B race and finished 4th. The latter also jumped 4.02 in the B long jump to finish 4th. She was accompanied by Esther Osawa who jumped 4.15 as the A string jumper to finish 6th.

Competing in the male sprints were Emmanuel Mbu & Team Manager, Steve Sinnott. Emmanuel, who was competing in his first ever league meeting, ran a strong race and finished joint 1st in his 200m race in a personal best time of 23.2. He ended the day by equalling his 100m best of 11.7 when finishing 4th. Meanwhile, Steve, a veteran athlete, finished a creditable 5th in his race in a time of 12.6 seconds.

Emmannuel Mbu joint first in 200m & new PB's for 200m & 100m

Sprint Coach Ann Inniss-Haycox, said “I’m very proud of the way that my athletes have performed this weekend. They have all worked very hard during the winter months, and I’m sure they will all do very well this season. The performances on Saturday took me back to my days as an athlete, as the Midland League was one of my favourite meetings. It was great to see the athletes enjoying the experience as much as I used to, and the performances were outstanding considering the cold conditions.”

For the small contingent of throws athletes Ross Brown was busy earning additional points in the Shot/ Discus/ Javelin & Hammer, as was Lorna Barlow who was 4th in the Hammer with 24.07 and also earned points in the Shot & Discus & Paula Sinnot (Shot) also earned value points.

Well done to all the athletes who competed, this was a big improvement from a year ago and things look far more positive going forward.