Mansfield Harriers rising star Archie Rayner put in a stunning performance on his England Athletics cross country debut Competing at the IAAF permit meeting in Caceres Spain in the Under 20 race Rayner had one of the best runs of his career taking second place overall and in so doing turned the tables on the athlete who had placed first in the Midland championships two weeks earlier.
Several of the clubs junior athletes competed for the County last week at the Regional Sportshall event at Grantham. The highlight for Mansfield was the superb performances of Jess Lake in the under 15 girls competition Lake was joint overall champion in the age group and now goes on to the National finals in Manchester winning the four lap race, vertical high jump and third in the shot. Ben Madeley also put in a fantastic performance in the vertical high jump being only 4 centimetres away from the national record after twice breaking the county record over the winter.
Bethany Williams and Jess Lake competed in the Midland Indoor Championships over the weekend at the National Indoor Arena at Birmingham. Williams returning to form after a bout of tonsillitis ran a controlled heat and under 2 hours later a positive final to take the bronze medal in the Under 20 800 metres. Lake competed in the Under 15 girls Long Jump and 60 metres hurdles, finishing 4th in the Long Jump agonisingly losing 3rd on the last round leaping to 4.87 metres and 5th in the hurdles running a PB of 9.77 seconds in her heat and a slightly faster 9.76 in the final.
Sunday saw cross country action with the last of the Booths league series at Holmewood Valley Park Chesterfield. Run in horrendous weather conditions on a very difficult course Mansfield had 14 athletes complete the course. Paul Butcher was fist man back in 10th place and took the over 50 category with Phil Shaw 33rd and 3rd in the same category. Gary Morley placed 37th, Sam Bradley 38th, Nigel Watkin 46th and second over 55, Dave Robertson on 116th and Graeme Baguley 173rd.
For the ladies, Bev Armstrong was first back in 22nd, Maddy Collinge 52nd and second over 55, Karen Kowalski 55th, Jemma Arbon 56th, Michelle Baxter 72nd, Tina Copcutt 79nd and Theresa Copcutt 84th. The mens team placed 11th, the ladies 8th and combined Mansfield finished in 9th place.
The previous weekend Phil Shaw competed in the Mickleden Straddle fell race over a gruelling 14.4 miles. Shaw managed to complete the difficult course in a time of 1.59.47 which was good enough to win the prize for first over 50 and 20th position overall.