Mansfield athlete Cragg ends stay in USA with victory

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Luke Cragg bowed out in style from his three years at Adams State University in the USA with victory in the NCAA Division Two Finals.

Having narrowly missed out on the medals on day one, where his run of 29:29.69 over 10000m took fourth spot, Cragg bounced back on the third and final day to take gold over 5000m.

In a close race that saw the first five athletes all finish within two seconds of each other, Cragg produced a sub-two minute last 800m ,including a final lap of 58 seconds, to come home in 14:12.29.

Cragg returns home in a few weeks and Mansfield Harriers members and followers will be looking forward to seeing him racing again in a green and blue vest where he will hopefully be in contention for another medal at the UK Championships.

Closer to home and Harriers’ U20s travelled to Sutton Coldfield for the second fixture in the National Junior League Midland Premier Division.

The club consolidated their fourth place league standing at the halfway point in the season, an encouraging position against the strongest clubs in the Midlands.

Greg Millar continued his strong form with a victory, and PB, in the javelin, his best throw of 61.24m beating his nearest rival by nearly nine metres.

Throws success continued with a double victory in the shot, Chris Clarke taking the A string with a best of 13.90m, a PB with the 6K shot, and Hadan Brittain coming out on top in the B string with a best of 11.12m. The same pair took third spot in the A and B respectively in the discus, Clarke producing another PB of 38.38m.

Elsewhere on the field Chloe Elphick continued to show her consistency in the long and triple jumps, producing bests of 5:04m and 10.88m.

On the track there were new PBs for Chevelle Baxter over 800m and 1500m steeplechase, her 800m time of 2:22.4 taking three seconds off her previous best.

Baxter went one better in the steeplechase where she took over half a minute off her best to run 6:03.4, just pipping team-mate Tamsin Smith, who also ran a PB of 6:05.6.

Jake Lancaster matched Baxter with his PBs of 2:25.8 and 7:14.2 over 800m and the 2K steeplechase whilst Tom O’Mara also recorded a best of 9:40.1 over 3K.

Demi-Jade Jakymelen ran a season’s best to take second spot in the B string 800m, clocking 2:26.0 while there was a debut over 400m for Robyn Foster, who also took second in the B string in a time of 63.1.

Elsie Glover made her NJL debut, equalling her 100m PB of 13.7, going on to run 28.7 over 200m. However, a tailwind of +3.1 m/s ruled that illegal.

Connor McHale saw his pole vault event cancelled due to the high winds but made up for this with PBs in the 400m hurdles (69.9), steeplechase (8:22.8) and triple jump (11.13m).

Stand-in team manager Adam Sansom did a fantastic job to keep all the athletes motivated as well as running a season’s best of 58.0 himself in the 400m hurdles.

At a very cold and windy BMC meeting at Manchester’s Sport City, Chris Brown and Ricky Soos both raced over 800m.

Brown came through strongly in the last 800m to run 1:54.1 whilst Soos faded badly over the last 200m to clock 1:56.1.

Danny Barkes acted as pacemaker at the same meet and showed strong form, taking a 1500m field through 800m in 1:58 and then an 800m field to the halfway point in 55 seconds.