Harriers’ athletes on song in Mansfield races

Three of Mansfield Harriers' podium-placers at the Mansfield 10K, from left, Kahli Johnson, Jessie Crawshaw and Bev Armstrong.
Three of Mansfield Harriers' podium-placers at the Mansfield 10K, from left, Kahli Johnson, Jessie Crawshaw and Bev Armstrong.

What a day it was for Mansfield Harriers at the successful Mansfield 5K and 10K races as four athletes took podium places and several recorded new best times.

Leading the way for the club was U17 Jessie Crawshaw, who finished second in the 10K event after producing a tremendous performance.

Crawshaw only signed up to join Harriers at the start of the summer, but since then, she has seen her times tumble and she took more than another minute off her best time in the Mansfield race, posting 42.42 minutes.

In the 5K event, Kahli Johnson also finished a superb second with a time of 19.54 minutes, while Bev Armstrong was third in 20.35. Fellow Harrier Mark Johnson finished third in the men’s 5K, which proved he is starting to get over the hamstring injury that has plagued him for nearly a year.

Martin Fickling, with a new best of 17.55, and Eva Williams, with 22.35, were the only other Harriers in the 5K.

Jordan Boam was first man home for the club in the 10K, recording 38.34 for a superb eighth place. Boam was followed by the fast-improving Jack Cooke in 41.01, Stef Wilcockson in 43.12, Andrew Longmead in 46.00, Colin Fell in 46.50, Martin White in 49.09, David Robertson in 49.45, Pete Copcutt in 50.13, Tim

Richardson in 53.01 and James Breider in 60.27.

Following Crawshaw in the ladies’ race were Christine Fell, who registered 51.40, Angela Purdue in 52.19, Sarah Bradbury, who recorded a new best of 54.20,

Tina Copcutt in 57.43, Julie Winter in 59.35, Sue Pepperday in 59.35 and Vicki Faulkner in 67.08.

Meanwhile Maddy Collinge travelled to Copenhagen to compete in its half-marathon among a huge field of 22,000. She clocked one hour, 50.20 minutes, which was good enough for third in the over-65s’ race.

A REMARKABLE performance by the U11 girls in their first taste of club cross-country running was the highlight of the first in a series of Nottinghamshire Mini-League events for Mansfield Harriers at the weekend.

A total of 26 junior athletes representing the green-and-blue army, which was up on onle eight last year, descended on Kings Park in Retford for the event.

And excellent team-packing by the U11 girls saw Zoe Spencer finish sixth, Freya Longmead ninth, Jemima Walker tenth, Ella Kennedy 11th, Isabel Westwood 12th, Ellie Jones 13th and Amelia Arnold 28th. As they all get stronger and more experienced, they are bound to show a big improvement.

The U11 boys were led home by Matt Young, who placed seventh and continues to reproduce his fine form of last winter. Edward Sankey enjoyed a superb debut cross-country race to finish 12th, while Ellis Blake was 17th, Joel Brierton 21st and William Sankey 26th.

The largest team of the day for Harriers at the event were the U13 girls, who are fast becoming a very powerful outfit, with most of the athletes at the bottom of the two-year age group. Beth Hamilton continued where she left off last year, placing seventh, and she was closely followed by Alex Foster in ninth and the rapidly improving Ruby Milnes in 18th.

In her first race for the club, Sophie Toyn showed terrific promise to record 32nd position, while Ava Blake was placed 35th, Amelia Shackleford 39th, Elizabeth Sinclair 44th and Emma Greasby 45th.

Jake Orr unleashed a magnificent run to come home seventh in the U13 boys’ race, with three cross-country debutants behind him also racing superbly, Cole Beck finished 15th, Harry Wilkinson was 18th and Carter Gidley came home 22nd.

Holly Spencer was the only U15 girl in a Harriers vest, but she finished a brilliant ninth to confirm the recent excellent training she has achieved, while in the U15 boys’ event, the diminutive Sam Bentley demonstrated that he continues to improve with every race, crossing the line in a highly creditable seventh position.