Katy-Ann McDonald’s sensational season took another extraordinary twist on Saturday when the 12-year-old clocked a European age best time over 800m. Her time of 2:10.99 at a BMC meeting at Milton Keynes smashed the previous age best for the two-lap distance by more than two seconds. The previous record of 2:13.4 – a UK and Europe age best set by Sarah Hopkinson at a meeting in Worcester – had stood for nine years.
McDonald’s performance came a fortnight after she ran a then personal best of 2:13.89 at the Hertfordshire Open Graded Meeting.Her latest time is also a new HHH club and Surrey U15 girls record. McDonald, the dominant force in British cross country in her age category this winter, would claim the world age best if she could overcome a time of 2:06.9 set by American Raevyn Rogers in 2009.
McDonald was not the only female 800m runner to find form at the weekend, as her predecessor as holder of those club and Surrey U15 records, Katie Snowden finished an excellent second in the women’s guest race in 2.08.85 at the prestigious Loughborough International. Jessie Knight raced at the same meeting, claiming fourth place in the women’s guest 400m race in 55.25, while Aisha Naibe-Wey was seventh in the women’s guest 400m hurdles in 64.83.
Meanwhile, Lewis Lloyd ran a personal best of 1.53.03 over 800m at the Oxford University versus Cambridge University varsity match in Cambridge. Harriers also claimed team victories in their Southern Men’s League fixture at Horsham and the Southern Women’s Track and Field League match at Kingmeadow.
For the men, Thomas Ashby was the standout performer, winning the 110m hurdles, discus and shot. Other individual winners in A races were Fawaaz Okundla (100m), Jamal Stevens (200m), Mark Dooley (5000m), Des Austin (hammer) and Gavin Johnson (javelin).
Like Ashby, team captain Briony Phillips was another triple-winner at Kingsmeadow, with victories in the shot, discus and javelin. Michelle Watson, meanwhile, secured the 100m and 200m sprint double, with Harriers also victorious in the 4x100m relay. Rebecca Zelic was another winner in the 400m hurdles, as was Elizabeth Acossi, making her debut for the senior women’s team, in the 100m hurdles.