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Depleted Mansfield Harriers struggle on British Athletics League opener

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Mansfield Harriers men’s track and field team got off to an inauspicious start at a sunny but windy Swansea in Division Three of the British Athletics League.

With many athletes unavailable due to work and exam commitments, along with a couple of late withdrawals, only six athletes made the long trip to South Wales for the start of their 2015 campaign.

With the risk of automatic relegation from the league if at least 50 per cent of events were not filled, the team of six went above and beyond the call of duty with each athlete competing in a minimum of five events.

Inevitably the team finished in eighth place overall, one place behind local rivals Derby.

But they showed that with a full strength team tthat he club have enough quality to retain its status in the division.

Strong winds prevented any fast times, however there were some notable performances.

Stefan Wilcockson opened up the track events with a strong performance in the 400m hurdles battling the strong winds in the home straight to finish fourth in the A event in 58.17sec.

Team manager Martin white picked up some bonus points by also finishing fourth in the B event.

Wilcockson and White teamed up again later with fifth and fourth place respectively in the 110m hurdles in 17.56sec & 21.32sec.

Martin Cook took on his first competitive outdoor 800m after transitioning from the 400m.

He showed great maturity on the first lap holding his position well as the pace slowed whist the athletes jostled for position.

A burst of 400m speed with 100m to go brought him home third in a impressive 1:57.85sec.

Martin was kept busy during the afternoon picking up valuable points in the discus and triple jump before joining forces with White, Sam Cordin, Theo Zake & Wilcockson for 4th place in the 4x100 & 4x400m relays.

James Mee was the only Mansfield athlete in the longer distance events. He covered over 20 laps during the day with fourth place in the 3000m Steeple Chase being his strongest event 10:37.85

Theo Zake and Sam Cordin performed well in both short sprints and gave a glimpse of fast times to come in more favourable conditions.

Theo picked up sixth place in the A 100m in 11.37 and 5th in the 200 in 22.67.

Sam placed second in the 100m B race in 11.49 into a blustery wind on -4.9m/sec. He then went one better winning the 200m B race in an impressive 22.17 into a 1.5m/sec headwind.