Mansfield Harriers ever improving juniors have seen tremendous success during the last week competing in two school events, these being the last of the County Schools league fixtures on Saturday at Berry Hill Park and the district school championships last Wednesday at Sherwood Pines.

At the county schools event the athletes were greeted with freezing conditions and in places a snowy or rock hard terrain as the weather took a turn for the worse. Undeterred the Mansfield Juniors put in some superb performances with the highlight being the year 7 girls race.

 Going into the race Beth Hamilton was leading the series with Ruby Milnes second and Alex Foster 4th place. Foster who suffers from diabetes struggled at the first race after her blood sugar levels were out has been playing catch up and it was apparent only a win in the last event would earn her a medal, she and Hamilton went of at a ferocious pace with Foster running the race of her life to outsprint the previously unbeaten clubmate on the home straight. Milnes continued her fine run of form in the league to finish 4th on the day and Ava Blake ran well for 27th. The three Mansfield athletes took a phenomenal 1,2,3 in the county series with Hamilton champion Milnes taking the silver and Foster the bronze.

Henry Bullough had his best race of the winter with a commanding performance in the year 8 and 9 boys race leading throughout and also earned a series medal. Sam Bentley continues to perform well and placed 9th in the year 10 and 11 boys race. Amelia Shackleford raced in the year 8 and 9 girls event and put in another solid run for 21st.

Mansfield had a good turnout in the year 6 races with James Flint first home in 5th closely followed by Matthew Young who again showed great determination for 8th place. Young was followed by William Sankey in 20th Joel Brereton 34th Oliver Allen 54th and William Sankey in 86th place. The year 6 girls are also developing into a very strong squad with first back on the day Ella Kennedy placing 7th closely followed by Freya Longmead 8th Jemima Waller 9th and Martha Yanney 14th Ellie Jones had another strong run for 17th as did Lucy Miller 24th and Amelia Arnold 63rd.

The club had despair in the year 7 boys event as Jake Orr was in equal first position with the one race to go however a lost shoe with less than half a lap to race put paid to his race as the title slipped out of his grasp. Oliver Bullough ran well for 4th and earned himself a medal for the series with Harley-Jay Martin placing 9th and Harry Wilkinson 16th.

The district schools event at Sherwood Pines was a superb fixture with Bassetlaw, Newark and Sherwood and Mansfield Schools all holding championships at the same fixture, with the club’s junior athletes again covering themselves in glory.

Amelia Shackleford had her career best run to date to take victory in the Mansfield schools year 8 and 9 race with Bryony Evans placing 4th in a rare appearance over the country. In the year 10 and 11 girls Maddison Pallester also came out on top in the Mansfield event with Katie Kemp having a superb run for 3rd. Not to be outdone Amber and Mollie Scott came in joint first in the Bassetlaw years 12 and 13 event.

The outstanding year 7 girls delivered again with Beth Hamilton winning the Newark event and a full podium for the Mansfield race with Alex Foster winning followed by Ruby Milnes and Tammy Smith who ran superbly in a race much over distance for her. Ava Blake also put in another solid run for 7th place and Emma Greasby had a strong run for 14th after being ill for most of the week.

Jake Orr continued his fine run of form by taking the year 7 event for Mansfield with Carter Giddy 7th and Harry Wilkinson 8th with Harley-Jay Martin 4th in the Newark race. Cole Beck was the only Mansfield Harrier in the year 8 and 9 boys race and placed a magnificent 2nd in the Newark race. The success continued in the year 10 and 11 boys race with Ben Smith taking the Newark title and Sam Bentley 4th with Mikey Hopkins 3rd in the Mansfield race. Racing in the Year 10 and 11 boys race in the Bolsover area Joel Whittaker-Naylor also ran well for 3rd spot.

The clubs senior team travelled to the Bakewell Showground for the latest fixture in the Booths League series. Highlight of the day for Mansfield was the performance of Paul lButcher who placed 21st overall which was good enough to win the masters 50 category. First blue and green vest home was Neil Cope in 20th followed by Phil Shaw in 26th which placed him 3rd in the masters 50 age group, strong performances were also put in by Martin Fickling 43rd, Gary Morley 47th and Stuart Whysall 109th, Graeme Baguley 136th, Dave Robertson 151st, Spencer Goodall 154th and Mark Burr 175th.

Helen Jones had a welcome return to racing having a superb run for 7th position in the senior lady’s race. Maddy Collinge continues to perform well in her age group with 2nd in the over 65 age group which equated to 217th overall and Amanda Shaw completed the team 223rd position.

Report by Richard Massey, Coach and Press Officer.

Picture below of left to right Alex Foster, Beth Hamilton and Ruby Milnes