ATHLETICS: Impressive Harriers trio hit English Schools mark

Three Kettering Town Harriers members set early season qualification marks in Nuneaton

Lara Turner
Lara Turner

Three members of the Kettering Town Harriers middle-distance squad set the early season English Schools Qualification mark as they competed at the Nuneaton Spring Open.

One of the main highlights of the day was a quite brilliant run from U17 Alice Bates in the 3000m slicing 37 seconds off her personal best in only her third race at this distance to set a national standard time of 10:04.79 and secure a top six UK ranking.

Bates, who has been hugely impressive in training, will now switch to 1500m in search of a PB over this distance at the opening BMC Grand Prix meeting at Trafford.

Kettering Town Harrier Alice Bates ran a new personal best and set a national standard time as well as securing a top six UK ranking

U15 Lara Turner, also in great form since returning to track training, set a new five-second PB with a fabulous run full of determination and grit.

Turner set a Junior Girls qualification mark of 4:47.75 and such was the final effort to reach the mark, she fell on the finish line as she dipped.

U20 Indie King built on her winning 2km performance two weeks earlier to run a fantastic opening 800m race with an ES qualifier of 2:13.77 which is easily her best ever opening race.

In the same race, Amelia McMurtrie also ran her fastest ever season opener, just half a second from her PB with 2:17.93 and she will be eyeing the 2:16 qualification time for the senior girls over the next few races.

Also competing over 3000m and setting an impressive new PB was U17 Lucas Mansell who sliced 30 seconds from his 3km best with a perfectly paced race to finish in an excellent 9:28.9, which will lift him to a UK top 30 ranking.

U23 Elana Albery, making her debut on track over 3000m, ran a very strong race to set a time of 10:43.56 underlining her big improvements this season which saw her smash through the 19-minute 5km barrier.

U15 Maggie Gancheva sliced five seconds from her PB in her first 800m with a splendid 2:29.73, no doubt benefiting from her good winter training block and her strong training sessions since being back on track.

U15 Evie Brooker, also benefiting from all the hard work over the winter, set another two-second PB in her 800m with a strong run in 2:43.48.

For the boys, there were some impressive performances with Josh Geddes slicing a further two seconds off his 800m time with 2:02.38 just 0.1 off his PB.

U15 Nathan Lamb also set a new PB in the 800m with a strong race for 2:25.21 and U13 Harlee Hooker made his track 1500m debut with a fantastic time of 5:30.67.

Sadly, this year an ES qualifier will just enable the athletes to be considered for school’s county team selection, with qualification for the championship much more stringent due to Covid-enforced restrictions to the numbers of athletes competing meaning only the top 16 English athletes based on the national rankings will be able to compete.