Mansfield Harrier makes stellar start to career in USA

Bethany Williams (second from left, number 2613) and her University of Central Florida teammates.
Bethany Williams (second from left, number 2613) and her University of Central Florida teammates.

The ambitious move from Ollerton to Orlando has certainly not slowed down Mansfield Harriers starlet Bethany Williams.

For the 18-year-old has made a superb start to her athletics career in the USA after winning a scholarship to the University of Central Florida.

Competing for the university, Williams opened her cross-country season by leading her team to a fine third place at the FAU (Florida Atlantic University) Invitational event. In the individual placings, she finished ninth.

To confirm her rich vein of form, she also raced at the Mountain Dew Invitational at Gainesville in Florida, and put in a stellar performance in the 5K by recording a time of 18.42 minutes. It earned her 21st position individually and helped her team to finish sixth of the 32 competing.

Meanwhile, back home, ten Mansfield Harriers athletes tackled the Robin Hood Half-Marathon in Nottingham on Sunday. First home for the club was Gary Morley in a time of one hour, 29.15 minutes, closely followed by the fast-improving Martin Fickling in 1.29.24. This was a significant breakthrough for Fickling because it was not only his best time but also the first occasion he has broken the 90-minute barrier.

Jonathan Hardy clocked 1.49.54, while Maddy Collinge continued her winning ways with 1.51.34 to take the female over-65 category. Other times: Martin White 1.55.33, Natasha Carver 1.59.17, Samantha Bullough 2.19.38, Jess Breider 2.25.33, Claire Booth 2.32.02 and Theresa Copcutt 3.10.29.