Archie leads the way for Harriers in Euro trials

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Six Mansfield Harriers travelled to Liverpool on Saturday to compete in the British Athletics Cross Challenge, which incorporated the European Cross Country trials.

The event is the premier cross country race this side of the New Year with fierce competition in all age groups on what turned out to be a very muddy Sefton Park after the recent heavy rains across the North West.

Leading the way for Mansfield was Archie Rayner in the U17 men’s competition finishing in 11th in a very close race.

Archie has been struggling this winter after a couple of illnesses, but this run heralds a return to form and with some solid training over the next three months he should quickly be back to his best.

He was supported in this race by the consistent Cameron Walker who put in another solid run to finish 53rd.

The U20 men’s race had a very strong field with places up for grabs for the Great Britain team at the European championships.

Alex Rieley ran a superbly controlled race working through the field to finish 59th and Lewis Ashmore in what is a local fixture for him currently as he is studying at Liverpool came home in 77th.

Two girls made the trip to Liverpool and in the U17s race May Roberts put in another superb performance on the day, showing all her battling qualities to finish a creditable 39th.

At U13 level in her first season of club cross country Paige Vick also made the long trip and after a courageous race came in a fantastic 56th position in what is without doubt the strongest field she has ever competed in.

On a quiet weekend for local races the only other Mansfield Harriers athlete out competing was club evergreen Maddy Collinge, who took part in the Newark Festival of Running Half Marathon on an off road course starting at Newark Castle.

On a cold, windy and muddy course Maddy battled hard to come home in a time of 2.06.17.