Mansfield Harriers rising star Luke Duffy earned his first England call up last week after his stunning win at the National Indoor Championships. Running at the Wales National Indoor Arena in Cardiff for England Under 18’s over 1500 metres against England Under 20’s, Wales Under 18’s and Wales Under 20’s Duffy put in a superb run to place second on the day. Only beaten by the England Under 20 who is two years his senior and with the overnight stop with the full England team Duffy has gained invaluable international experience from which he can only benefit.
Also competing indoors Andy Wetherill had an amazing run at the Inter Area Masters event at Lee Valley Sports Centre in London. Competing for the Midlands Wetherill ran a superb 9.49 for 3000 metres to place 3rd in the over 55 age group.
The Harriers juniors competed in the last of the 5 race mini league cross country series last weekend at Rushcliffe Park. In bitterly cold conditions the Mansfield club had 15 athletes compete with several making debut performances for the club at cross country.
In the Under 11 girls event Beth Hamilton placed 3rd on the day and 2nd overall in the series. Alex Foster was close behind in 4th and narrowly missed out on an individual medal. These two athletes have been superb all winter and have lead the Under 11 team to some amazing success. In this competition they were pipped to teamglory by a very strong Rushcliffe team to place second.
Next home was newcomer Ruby Milnes in 20th position, closely followed by Ava Blake showing huge improvement in a superb 23rd place. Zoe Spencer had a strong run for 36th and the consistent Emma Greasby was 53rd.
The Under 11 boys all had excellent runs finishing a fine 3rd team place overall, these young men have got better throughout the winter and great things can be expected of them going forward. Jake Orr was first back on this occasion looking strong throughout to placed 8th, Matthew Young continued his great winter to finish11th, with the improving Alistair Holmewood 20th. Newcomers Carter Giddey finished 21st, Zak Thomson 27th and Jake Milner 54th.
Saffron Milner in her debut placed 31st in the Under 13 girls race and in the Under 15 boys the diminutiveSam Bentleyplaced 13th to complete a superb series and Joel Whittaker-Naylor placed 19th.
The Harriers have also been very busy over the weekend on the roads with most racing in atrocious conditions. Garry Hodgkins was certainly not deterred by the weather running a new personal best by over a minute at the Rushcliffe 10K to record 40.57. Racing at the Ashbourne 5K Kirsty Fairbaim-Wint produced a swift assisted 21.53 and Caroline Rye recorded 2 hours 27 at the Milton Keynes Half Marathon. Maddy Collinge ran in the Grantham Half Marathon in a time of 2 hours and 30 seconds to currently stand in the top 10 of the UK over 65 rankings.
The largest contingent of Harriers competed at the Ashbourne 10 miles run along the Tissington Trail with eight finishing the race. First home for the club in a new best time of 1.30.14 was Diane Stewart followed by Sarah Bradbury 1.37.05, Mel Ceney 1.37.50, Lyndsey Stevenson 1.44.20, Jane Walker 2.01.19, Latia Renshaw 2.03.20, Sally Wilson 2.10.18 and Helen Netherwood 2.11.02. Three Harriers raced at the East Midlands 10K with first home Tim Richardson in 52.52 with close behind Michelle Baxter 56.38 and Tina Copcutt in 57.05.
Picture below of the U11's who have performed well over the winter.