Three of Mansfield Harriers junior England international athletes opened the 2017 Track and Field season at the Trafford Athletic Club open meeting last week. These meetings are the premier endurance fixtures in the North of England and the meeting was held in very cold and windy conditions.

Luke Duffy opened his season with a magnificent 1500 metres running laps of 62,63,63 and a last 300 metres of 45 to record a stunning time of 3.53.71 for an Under 17.  This performance is also a qualifying time for the 2017 Under18 Commonwealth Games. Archie Rayner took to the 3000 metres for the first time on the track and came away with a fantastic time of 8.29. Running a very fast last lap indicates much more to come and Rayner will be looking to run the event again in the next few weeks. Bethany Williams ran in the 800 metres and had a very strong season opener with a 2.12 performance, even better after getting stuck in traffic and only arriving 30 minutes before the race leaving very little time for warm up. For good measure Williams was fastest lady on the night

The night after several athletes competed at the Charnwood AC open on another bitterly cold and windy night and not a night for new best performances., Jessica Lakehad a great run in the 100 metres winning her heat in 13.76 and competed well in the long jump going out to an outdoor best of 4.97 metres. Kelsey Pearcecontinues to do superbly in the shot launching out 11.15 metres and had a rare outing in the 100 metres where she powered through in 15.18. Chloe Allcock impressed in the high jump where she managed to clear 1.60 metres. Sophia Stewart recorded a sharp 13.16 in the 100 metres and leaped to 4.55 metres in the long jump.  The only senior competing Aaron Aplin recorded 12.36 in his heat of the 100 metres and Sophie Brown managed a very decent 7.93 metres in the shot.  Alex Foster ran a superb tactical race in the 800 metres to run 2.45

League action also took place with the first of the YDL lower age group competitions at Grantham. Overall the club came 4th however the girls continue to dominate that side of the competition comfortably winning their section.   At under 15 Jess Lake headed the point scorers with three firsts the 75m Hurdles, Long Jump and the B High Jump. Katie Kemp won the High Jump on count back second in the Hammer and the 100 metres. Kelly Seaman was second in the 100 won the 800 metres and picked up good points in the 300 metres. Holly-May Spencer was second in the 800, 300 and won the Javelin.  Bryony Evans scored well in the Javelin, long jump and 200 metres. Ellie Sheppard was a real team player scoring well in the Hammer Discus and Shot as was Sophie Brown who competed in the Shot, Discus and the 200 metres. The relay team of Kemp, Sheppard, Evans and Lake dominated the race throughout for victory.

The U13 Girls were equally impressive with Olivia Barrett leading the way winning the 800 metres and 3rd in the 150 metres. Tammy Smith was 3rd in the B 150 then went on to win her Long Jump and come second in the Shot. Tia Jones performed well in the 75 metres, High Jump and the Shot as did Grace Manson in the High Jump, Long Jump and 1200 metres.  Isabelle Burlington and Amelia Brown made debuts in this league, Burlington won the Javelin and ran well in the 100 metres and Brown won the B javelin and competed in the 800 metres. The relay team of Brown, Burlington, Smith and Manson were also victorious.
Three Under 13 boys competed all making league debuts. Alistair Homewood was 2nd in the Hurdles, and ran well in the 800 metres and 100 metres. Harry Bolam ran well in the A string 100 and long Jump. Jake Orr recorded the same distance as Bolam in the long jump and went on to run well in the 200 metres and 1500 metres.

Competing at the National Sportshall finals Ben Madeley had superb success winning the Under 13 Vertical High Jump and getting very close to the national record.

The only road action at the weekend was Garry Hodgkins running the Leicester big 10K. Going into the race in great shape Hodgkins was looking for a good new best time however the strong winds made the race much more difficult. He still managed a 13 second new best time recording 40.44.

Pictures below are of the three England internationals, Luke Duffy, Archie Rayner and Beth Williams.