Harriers’ success goes on as Wetherill wins British title

Archie Rayner.
Archie Rayner.

Mansfield Harriers’ fine year of success continues to gather pace with more great performances on both track and the road.

Andy Wetherill raced in the British Masters Championships at Birmingham on Sunday, and in wet and difficult conditions Andy ran a season’s best to take the British title in 16.57.78

On the track athletes travelled to Tipton in Birmingham to compete in the regional British Milers Club event on Tuesday night.

Friday night also saw a large number compete at the Newstead Abbey Dash 5K, which incorporated the Nottinghamshire AAA road 5K championships.

The highlight of the Tipton event was Archie Rayner’s stunning run in the 1500m. On a blustery night which was far from ideal for fast running, Archie put in his performance of the season clocking a new best of 3.53.8.

Running three even pace laps of 62 he hung on for the last 300m, fighting the wind in the home straight to record the time that now puts him in the all time UK top 50 for 1500 at U17 level.

Ella Hughes continued her recent fine run of form running in the 3000m and recorded a new best time of 9.57.3.

The run was particularly difficult as she had to run five laps on her own in the windy conditions and will now be expecting to run under 9.50 in her next competitive race over the distance.

Bethany Williams showed a welcome return to form after recent illness recording a new best time of 2.20.2 to win her heat in the 800m and Luke Duffy performed close to his best in a difficult race to record 4.20 for the 1500m.

At Newstead on Friday night although still waiting for the full results the club came away with numerous prizes and county medals, with the ladies taking home an impressive set of awards.

In her first open road race Ella Hughes following on from her great run on the track three days earlier put in a dominant display in the ladies race comfortably winning the event in a time of 18.00 minutes.

This performance gave her both the Senior and U20 awards in both the open and county championship races. Ella now takes a well earned break before preparing for the cross country season.

Next in from Mansfield was May Roberts who put in a superb last half mile to finish third overall in the race.

Still only 15 years old, May put in a superb performance to not only come third in the open and county championship but she also take first place in the U17 event and gold medal in the U17 Nottinghamshire championships.

Mansfield dominated the U17 age group with Bethany Williams coming in second and a great run from Courtney Spencer, who is still only an U13, taking a bronze medal in the U17 event.

Paige Vick, also an U13, performed admirably in the event but narrowly missed out on a medal.

Mansfield enjoyed a similar situation in the ladies 35 category with Kahli Johnson having a great run to take both the open event and the county gold medal.

Kahli was backed up by Bev Armstrong who on the night took the county silver medal and Catherine Hough who ran a new personal best for the distance to take a deserving bronze medal.

For the men, making it a family double, Mark Johnson made a welcome return to racing after recent injury to win both the open men 40 category and take county gold medal.

In the U17 event, after his recent superb track race, Archie Rayner showed his versatility to win county gold and he was solidly backed up by Cam Walker, who took the silver medal at the same age group.

The club had several athletes run at the recent Crich Memorial 10K and first person to finish was Phil Shaw who came back eighth overall and first in the vet 45 category.

Other athletes to finish this tough and hilly course were: Tim Raynor 40th, Jon Lander 74th, Paul Scott 80th, Colin Fell 94th, Bob Scott 112th, Helen Jones 119th, Matt Bradbury 134th, Dave Robertson 139th, Maddy Collinge 185th and Sue Pepperday 205th.

At the Notts 5 event the only Mansfield competitor was Maddy Collinge, who completed the course in 40.08.

This was good enough to win the over 65 age group and puts her firmly in the top 10 of the UK rankings for the event this year for her age group.