Luke Cragg seals Marathon win as solid 2012 form goes on

LUKE Cragg continued his strong early 2012 form with victory in the Great North West Half Marathon.

Cragg’s time of 68:54 was a few minutes slower than his posting of 65:25 when taking fifth spot in Santa Pola in Spain a month earlier. However, the victory will do his confidence good.

Rachel Norris progressed to the semi-final stage of the England Athletics National Indoor U17 Championships in both the 60m and 200m.

After a third place in her heat in a time of 8.05, Norris managed to dip under eight seconds in her semi-final, although the time of 7.99 wasn’t quick enough to secure a place in the final.

A second place for Norris in the 200m heat qualified for a semi-final spot, but again her time of 25.89 was not quite quick enough for a place in the final. Tom Wallett finished sixth in his heat of the U20 Men’s 60m Hurdles in 8.82.

Parliament Hill in London was the venue for the National Cross-Country Championships, where Mansfield’s best performance came from Nicole Goulding in the U15 Girls race.

Goulding clocked 15:09 to take 37th position against the country’s best youngsters, with Caelidh Ross also making the top 100 with her 67th place finish. Sophie Beckingham (259th) and Emily Barker (307th) scored useful points to secure a 24th team position for Mansfield. Philippa Mitchell was 327th.

Sam Johnson was the first Harrier home in the U15B race with a 57th place finish and led home the team to a 20th place overall. Cameron Smith was the next back in 148th with back up provided by Alex Rieley (186th) and Ben Hardy (282nd).

Sam and William Barker were the only local U13 Boys competing, Sam taking 58th place and William 229th.

Ellie White led home the U13G, taking 112th spot with Tilly Birkin next home in 154th. Emma Beeson (235th), Ruby Codd (320th) and Emily Tupholme (328th) completed the line up.

At U17W level Charlotte Bellingham had a strong run to finish in the top 100, taking 94th spot and was just 12 places ahead of Hannah Hardy. Alice Mortiboy (142nd) and Amelia Mitchell (150th) finished close together with Harriet Codd (167th), Alice Keogh (176th) and Eleanor Winning (182nd) also completing the course.

A total of 1,689 runners completed the Senior Men’s race with Anthony Robinson first home for Harriers, completing the 12K course in 45:57.

Steve Davies finished under 50 minutes too, taking 777th position in 48:46. John Harrison just missed out on the top 1000, finishing 1,007th in 51:29 with the other Mansfield men being Jonathan Hardy (1227th), Jonathan Mitchell (1259th), Alan Smith (1346th), Tim Raynor (1547th) and Adey Bellingham (1569th).

Sally Hopkins continued her impressive form finishing 158th out of 650 finishers in the Senior Ladies race, Amanda Hardy the only other Mansfield runner finishing in 420th spot.