Three of Mansfield Harriers track stars travelled to the English Institute of Sport to compete in the Run, Jump, Throw and British Milers Club meeting at Sheffield last Wednesday night.

Luke Duffy and Chris Monk ran the BMC 800 A race and it was a surprisingly strong field. For the first two laps both athletes stayed at the back and between 500 and 600 Duffy surged to the front with Monk also moving up. Using all his strength and determination on the last lap Duffy maintained his place throughout to cross the line in a new PB of 1.54.88 Monk having a great run was getting closer all the time and his progress was thwarted coming of the last bend as he had to check his stride, but he too was delighted to come away with a 2017 best time of 1.55.64. Jonny Lowe attempted a 400 800 metres double and with only 30 minutes between was always going to find it hard. However, Lowe performed superbly in both events recording 59.98 for the 400 and 2.21.57 in his 800 metres.

The last cross country league fixture of 2017 took place on Sunday with the 4th of the Nottinghamshire Mini League series at a very wet and cold Worksop College. Undeterred by the weather Mansfield had another fantastic team with 27 young Harriers completing with the highlight being the club fielding an Under 15 boys team for the first time in several years. Henry Bullough in his first race of the winter ran superbly for 4th, Sam Bentley was close behind in 5th and Joel Whittaker-Naylor closed the team in 11th.

The Under 11 girls had a much smaller team than normal due to family commitments however the fantastic four who ran all performed to a very high level. In career best runs Ella Kennedy placed 3rd and Isabel Westwood was close behind in 4th with Jemima Waller running strongly for 8th as did Lauren Gascoyne placing 17th.

The Under 11 boys were superb both in performance and numbers as 9 athletes completed the course. First back in his first run for the club was James Flint who was a magnificent 7th place with Daniel Graham close behind in 8th. Edward Sankey ran well for 16th as did Will Wilkinson 24th, Joel Brereton 27th, Oliver Allen 28th, Finley Allen 30th, William Sankey 34th and Calum Allsop in 40th.

At the Under 13 age group the girls continue to put in impressive performances with the first three back all bottom year of the two year age group.  Beth Hamilton put in another superb run to finish in 3rd place closely followed by Alex Foster in 4th place. Ruby Milnes put in a very brave run going out with the leading pack and only falling back in the last part of the race but still finished a superb 9th.  Sophie Toyn showed the benefit of some tremendous training sessions as she had her best club run to date placing 15th with Ava Blake 26th, Amelia Shackleford 27th, Elizabeth Sinclair 28th and Hannah Brereton 30th.

The boys at Under 13 struggled with several athletes out ill or with family commitments. Jake Orr showed amazing team spirit as he had come with the intention to support the team but with only two other runners put himself on the starting line. Orr ran a controlled race throughout and still managed a top 10 place coming in 8th. Cole Beck and Harry Wilkinson both had best runs of the winter as they continue to train hard and well with Beck placing 11th and Wilkinson 20th.

Report by Richard Massey, Coach and Press Officer.

Picture below of Luke Duffy, Jonny Lowe and Chris Monk.