Harriers’ golden start to the Olympics year

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Mansfield Harriers celebrated the start of Olympic year in fantastic style at the Notts AAA Cross Country Championships, taking five team and four individual gold medals.

Ellie White and Tilly Birkin were given the same time of 14:16 in the U13G race with White being given the judges’ verdict for gold, Birkin settling for the silver.

Jessica Tomlinson, in fourth place, joined these two as part of a victorious team that defeated nearest rival Notts AC by 12 points.

In the U15G race Caelidh Ross and Ella Shirley took the two top spots, Ross outpacing Shirley by five seconds to take the gold medal spot.

Fifth placed Ella Hughes completed the team for first place whilst Emma Heath (sixth), Emma Cundy (seventh) and Alive Venkatesan (eighth) combined to take the silver team medal in a highly successful race for Harriers.

The U17/U20 Women weren’t to be outdone by their younger team-mates, silver medallist Holly Blount combining with Hannah Hardy (fourth) and Hayley Silver (sixth) to take team gold whilst Alice Cobb (seventh), Alice Mortiboy (ninth) and Harriet Codd (10th) brought home team silver.

Emily Collinge made an excellent return to representative cross-country action in a Harriers vest, running to a fifth place finish in the Senior/Veteran Women’s event.

Collinge was up against a quality field in a race where Charnwood’s international representative twins Juliet Doyle and Jane Potter took the two top spots.

New recruit Sally Hopkins showed her growing form with a strong run to take 14th place with Amanda Hardy third Harrier back in 25th.

Archie Raynor and Sam Johnson took gold in the U13B and U15B respectively, both leading their teams to team gold.

For Sam it was the fourth year in a row he has won his race.

Raynor was joined on the podium with Sam and William Barker (fourth and 11th respectively) whilst Alex Rieley and Cameron Smith added team gold to their individual silver and bronze medals.

James Mee, home from his studies in the USA for Christmas, produced a seventh place finish in a competitive senior men’s race, Stuart King also making the top 20 with his 15th place.

OTHER MANSFIELD FINISHERS: SM – 30: Andy Norton, 37: Chris Dale, 41: Anthony Robinson, 73: John Harrison, 75: Mike Mumford, 80: Tim Raynor, 98: Clive Russell, 104: Jon Hardy, 105: David Blount, 127: Ian Dobb. U17M – 11: Jordan Boam, 12: Sam Dobb. U15B – 6: Ben Hardy, 10: Isaac Moodie, 11: Finny Quilty. U13B – 12: T. Harrison Smith, 23: Morgan Remnant. U11B – 8: William Taylor. SW – 39: Sharon Armitage, 43: Maddy Collinge. U17/U20W – 14: Hazel Blount, 15: Charlotte Bellingham. U15G – 10: Sophie Beckingham, 14: Emily Baker. U13G – 6: Emma Beeson, 8: Katharine Fisher, 17: Bethany Williams, 18: Emily Tupholme, 20: Ruby Codd. U11G – 12: Megan Humphries, 18: Rebecca Fisher, 25: Rebecca Hamilton.

l A week earlier a group of Harriers ended 2011 with a trip to the Sheffield Open Cross Country event on New Year’s Eve.

Steve Davies finished 13th in the Senior/Vet men’s race and also took top spot as the first VM50 home.

Anthony Robinson marked his Harriers debut with a highly respectable 16th spot and, with Tim Raynor and Jon Hardy taking 23rd and 27th respectively, the team finished in second spot.

The Hardy family made it a day out with Jon being joined by Ben (11th in U15 Boys), Hannah (third in U17W) and Amanda (sixth in SW/VW). Emma Beeson was seventh in the U13G whileAlice Mortiboy took fifth in the U17G and Sharon Armitage was ninth in the SW/VW.