The Nottinghamshire Schools Cross Country Championships were held at a wet Wollaton Park Nottingham over the weekend and with Mansfield Harriers having good numbers competing hopes were high that some of the athletes would earn selection into the county team for the National Championships. The Mansfield athletes responded in superb style showing all the hard training over the winter has gone well as a phenomenal sixteen made it into the county teams and many of the others having superb run.

 The year 5/6 girls race was a competitive race with the top 10 close throughout. Ella Kennedy continued her magnificent winter having a superb second half of the race for 5th, closely behind all the way Jemima Waller ran superbly for 7th and one of the Bullough's Matilda in 12th so these three now make the county team. Isabel Westwood ran well for 19th but can have another go at the age group next year as can Ellie Jones who placed 32nd and Lucy Miller also performed strongly for 34th in the huge field.

First Mansfield boy home in the 5/6 age group was year 5 athlete James Flint who hung on gamely for 11th and qualifies for the team and gets another go next year. Edward Sankey had another great run for 30th as did Daniel Graham in 31st and Matt Young continues to show great resolve after a year wrecked by injury to place 42nd.
In the Year 7 girls event the highlight was a superb run from Alex Foster who placed 2nd so close to taking the championship only missing out on a photo finish but still a fantastic effort, Ruby Milnes the most improved Mansfield cross country athlete this winter had a great run for 7th always in the leading group. Beth Hamilton was the third qualifier placing 10th fighting hard throughout to make the team. Ava Blake also had a superb run placing 24th in another large field.

The year 7 boys race saw the return to form of Jake Orr who has struggled since a bad fall in the National Cross Country Relays always near the front of the field finishing in 4th. The second of the Bullough’s Oliver also qualified in 9th, Harley Martin placed 31st and Harry Wilkinson 60th.

Olivia Barrett continues her return to racing placing 16th in the year 8/9 girls race and Amelia Shackleford showed great determination to place 59th continuing to run after hurting her foot.

Racing in the Year 8/9 boys a magnificent run from the third of the Bullough family Henry who went  away in the last quarter of the race to take a superb victory and take his first county championship. Cole Beck was superb in 32nd having only recently taken to cross country and shows real promise for the future.

Jessie Crawshaw racing in her first county championship put in an amazing show of even paced running in the year 10/11 girls race to gain a magnificent 2nd spot. Starting in mid division her relentless pace pulled her through the field and into the second place with about 300 metres to run.   Competing in the 10/11 boys race Ben Smith continues to show superb form taking the bronze medal position and Sam Bentley continues to improve putting in a great race for 10th only narrowly missing a county spot.

The year  12/13 girls saw Libby Coleman, Amber Scott and Mollie Scott take a magnificent 1,2,3 with the Mansfield girls dominating the race from start to finish and Dylan George ran the 12/13 boys race still recovering from illness and qualified comfortably in 5th place.

In the Derbyshire County event Sophie Toyn had a superb run in a very strong field for 30th in the 8/9 girls race and Joel Whittaker ran well in the 10/11 boys placing 34th.

Mark Burr faced the daunting Charnwood Hills Race on Sunday a gruelling 14 miles with over 1600 feet of climb during the race. Also running through some very difficult terrain Burr managed to complete the event in 2 hours 41.

Report by Richard Massey, Coach and Press Officer.

Picture below of Jemima Waller & Ella Kennedy