ATHLETICS: Encouraging signs for Mansfield Harriers

editorial image

A busy few weeks for Mansfield Harriers have seen a string of encouraging performances, topped by the new best performances by sprinter, Rachel Norris.

Norris has made massive strides this season under the coaching supervision of Martin White. The 15 year old from Southwell smashed her own 200m club record whilst taking victory at the Notts Schools Championships and then 48 hours later added the 300m record to her tally, running 39.2 at Corby.

Norris now appears in the top ten UK rankings for all three sprints – currently being listed at two in the 300m, fifth over 200m and ninth over 100m.

There were victories for several other Harriers at the Notts Schools Championships including new personal best performances for Nicole Goulding (4:57.7 over 1500m) and Beth Mortiboy (5.08m Long Jump). Mortiboy also won the Triple Jump with a best leap of 10.51m.

Jon Brannan took a sprint double in the Inter Boys age group whilst Jordan Scott took the JB 100m title in 12.5 and Robyn Foster secured victory in the IG 300m in 43.2.

Alex Rieley and Sam Johnson completed the line up of Mansfield winners, Rieley securing the JB 1500m in 4:35.4 and Johnson the IB 3K in 9:50.2.

The club’s Junior League team produced a spirited performance in blustery conditions at Derby to come out on top in their six team match. After trailing for the first half of the match to Central Mercia some great team spirit and a string of personal best performances put the youngsters into the lead, a position which means they how go top of the league table after two fixtures.

Chloe Elphick scored 47 points for the team with victories in the A string Discus, B string Pole Vault and Long Jump and second place spots in the B string Hammer and A string 100m Hurdles. Elphick’s performances included new PBs of 30.48m in the Discus and 24.31m in the Hammer.

Multiple PBs were also the order of the day for Becky Woolley who won the Shot with a new best mark of 10.64m and took second in the Hammer with 32.24m. Woolley also set a season’s best of 39.16m to win the Javelin, just 28cms short of her lifetime best and took victory in the B string Discus.

Harriers dominated the women’s middle distance event – Demi-Jade Jakymelen and Hayley Silver starting the run with a double victory over 800m, Jakymelen winning the A string in 2:28.3 and Silver taking the B in 2:29.6. Silver went on to take second in the A string 1500m whilst Jakymelen won the B.

Chevelle Baxter and Holly Smith took maximum points over 3K before Baxter combined with Tamsin Smith to take second in the A string and first in the B string Steeplechase respectively.

The men also scored good points in the middle distance events – Sam Johnson and Tom O’Mara taking 3rd in the B and first in the A respectively over 800m – both recording PBs – Johnson at 2:08.4 and O’Mara 2:09.2. Over 1500m Jordan Boam and Joseph Ashmore both clocked PBs – Boam running 4:59.3 and Ashmore 4:59.9.

The 3000m also provided PBs for Lewis Ashmore (9:53.4) and Cameron Smith (10:00.4) whilst in the 2K Steeplechase James O’Mara ran a 7:51.0 debut to build on an earlier 400m Hurdles debut of 66.5 and Jordan Boam also produced a new best of 8:54.9.

Tom Wallett ran to a comfortable victory in the 110m Hurdles clocking 15.7 whilst Connor McHale produced a new outdoors best of 3.80m in the Pole Vault, Alex Heath also returning to the event and clearing 2.45m. Hadan Brittain took useful points in the Shot, Javelin and Hammer including a new PB of 10.40m in the Shot and a season’s best of 42.92 in the Hammer.

Caelidh Ross ran to victory in the B string 400m clocking an impressive time of 60.4 whilst there was a new PB of 63.0 for Robyn Foster in the A string. Beth Mortiboy was just one cm off her Triple Jump PB, winning the competition with a best leap of 10.81m having earlier taken second in the Long Jump with a best of 5.01m.

Beth Ulyett made her Harriers debut and scored useful points with fourth place finishes in the A string 400m Hurdles and High Jump along with second spot in the B string Shot whilst Pippa Tomlinson took fifth in the 100m and third in the B string Javelin.

A day earlier and several Harriers had strong races at the Inter counties schools event held at Stoke. Caelidh Ross won the IG 800m in 2:14.8, Beth Mortiboy was third in the IG Triple Jump with abest of 10.68m and Robyn Foster was third over 300m in 43.0

Not to be left out by the youngsters Steve Woolley took a big medal haul at the Midland Masters Championships. Woolley dominated the VM50 category in the Throws – taking Gold in the Shot with a best of 11.82m and Silver in the Javelin, Hammer and Discus.

Whilst the club’s athletes have been busy on the track the seniors have also been hard at it on the roads.

James Mee made a welcome return in a Mansfield vest to take second spot in the Notts AAA Road Race League fixture at Erewash. Mee clocked 29:06 to lead home three Harriers in the top ten – Paul Butcher taking fifth spot in 29:51 and Mark Johnson finishing ninth in 29:57. Johnson lies in sixth place overall after three of the five races, only eight points off the bronze medal and nine off the silver.

Whilst Chris Dale made sure of a top twenty placing, clocking 31:00 to finish sixteenth, Andy Wilson and Jonny Lowe just missed out taking 21st and 22nd respectively just two seconds separating the pair who finished in 31:50 and 31:52.

Butcher, Johnson, Wilson and Lowe scored for the Veterans team and secured a team victory for the third consecutive race. Pete Stafford (28th in 32:10), Steve Taylor (36th in 36:19, Phil Shaw (57th in 35:19) and Bryan Borrill (66th in 35:55) joined Mee and Dale as scorers in the senior team.

First Mansfield lady home was Sally Hopkins who recorded a time of 36:01 to take seventh place. Kahli Johnson was next back in 38:04 to take 14th spot with Tina Green and Sue Day both taking top fifty spots, Green finishing 42nd in 41:16 and Day taking 46th in 41:47.

Johnson, Green and Day scored for the Veteran Ladies, keeping them in fourth place in the series whilst Hopkins was joined in the senior scorers by Julie Grainger (57th in 43:23) and Amie Grainger (58th in 43:24).

OTHER MANSFIELD FINISHERS: MEN – 72: John Bell – 36:31, 88: Jon Hardy – 37:34, 96: David Binch – 39:16, 120: Colin Fell – 40:01. WOMEN – 68: Faye Gardener – 45:16, 90: Amanda Shaw – 48:22, 91: Julia Lowe – 48:25, 101: Hattie Lowe – 52:38, 103: Sally Haywood – 53:15.

Many athletes raced two nights in succession as the Booth Decorators race at Shipley Park fell just 24 hours before the Notts AAA race. Andy Wilson was one of those, taking sixth spot at Shipley Park in 25:46. Tom O’Mara was just four seconds behind Wilson, finishing eighth in 25:50.

OTHER MANSFIELD FINISHERS: 51- Matt Brennan:29:19, 61 – Sam Dobb:29:54, 64 – Sally Hopkins: 29:58, 74 – John Bell:30:37, 93 – Jon Hardy:31:04, 104 – Alice Ventakesan:31:45, 143 – Hannah Hardy:33:46, 152 – Kate Raynor:34:21, 187 – Maddy Collinge:36:35, 191 – Sophie Beckingham:36:43, 204 – Ian Dobb:38:00.