Eight Harriers are set for English Schools Championship

Kettering Town Harriers will have a record number of athletes in action in Manchester

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 2:54 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st July 2021, 2:56 pm
(From left) Katie Gibson, Alice Bennett, Indienne King, Jacob Asher-Relf, Ryan Amesimeku, Alice Bates and Lara Turner are seven of the eight Kettering Town Harriers athletes who have been selected for the National English Schools Championships

The head coach of Kettering Town Harriers has hailed this season as the most successful ever after eight athletes were selected for the National English Schools Championships, which take place between July 9 and 11 at Sports City in Manchester.

The number is a record for the club and is testament to the work the athletes, coaches and support staff have put in during the most difficult of circumstances during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Harriers’ achievement is especially significant this year as English Schools have scaled down the competition which effectively means only the top 16 English athletes will be invited to compete.

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In normal years the championships, which lays claim to being the 4th largest competition in the world, the cut would be top 50 English athletes.

Harriers’ middle distance squad has led the way with six athletes selected under the guidance of the coaching team of Shane Smith, John Caines and Cheryl Lamb.

Lara Turner (1500m), Jacob Asher-Relf (800m), Alice Bates (3000m), Alice Bennett (800m), Amelia McMurtrie (800m) and Indienne King (800m) are the middle distance squad members who have qualified for Manchester.

The other athletes selected from Kettering are seasoned hammer thrower Katie Gibson and sprinter Ryan Amesimeky, who has been guided by sprint coach Antoinette Inniss-Haycox.

Head coach Smith said: “This season has been the most successful ever in terms of athletes obtaining selection for English Schools and this is, in the main, due to the hard work the athletes put in over the past year, particularly during the last lockdown at the beginning of the year.

“This is even more impressive with only the top 16 English athletes being selected, all athletes who qualified show that hard work pays off, they are an absolute credit to the sport, and I hope they all enjoy this top level competition.”

A number of other Harriers athletes came close to achieving the English Schools standard but coaches are hoping that the success enjoyed by the club in 2021 will inspire others to follow their lead.