Mansfield Harriers dominate U17 field in North Midlands League

Alex Rieley in action for Mansfield Harriers
Alex Rieley in action for Mansfield Harriers

Mansfield Harriers had another busy weekend of cross country with the second of the North Midlands league at Corby on Saturday run in very wet and muddy conditions.

This was followed by the third of the Nottinghamshire mini league series on Sunday at Kings Park, Retford, and once again the club had some outstanding performances over the two days both individually and in team events.

At Corby the highlight of the day was the continued domination at U17 level with both the boys and girls teams leading the competition.

The boys had the outstanding Archie Rayner competing for the first time in the league this year and he comfortably won the event in the difficult conditions. He was backed up by the fast improving Cam Walker in third, who is now in contention for the league individual title, and Matt Buchan, who has just returned from holiday and battled to 16th place.

In the U17 girls race in an exceptionally strong field Beth Williams continued her fine winter season finishing third and fast improving May Roberts had her best run on the country this winter to finish fifth.

The two girls have been that good in this competition that they are leading the team competition after two events and have had to take last position plus one for the third counter in both events.

In the men’s race Alex Rieley in his first season in senior competition ran a superbly timed race to finish 13th moving up from 22nd on the last lap.

Alex is making a superb transition from the junior ranks and is expected to continue this improvement throughout the winter.

The next three men in were the three veteran men Alan Smith 16th, Andy Wetherill 55th, and Phil Shaw 82nd.

Even without Mark Johnson and Paul Butcher competing for England on the same day, the team is so strong they will still be comfortably leading the team race after two races.

Closely following Phil was Nigel Watkin in 102nd a great effort after doing his 100th park run in the morning, Matt Storer came 124th a massive improvement on his 187th in the first race and Jon Hardy completed the team in 156th.

The ladies team only had a veteran ream on the day and first in was team manager Bev Armstong in 34th followed by the ever consistent Amanda Hardy in 59th and Jackie Duers also running after doing a park run in the morning finishing in 95th.

The club had three under 13’s compete on the day in the boys race Curtis Moss continues to impress finish 34th and in the girls race both Courtney Spencer and Paige Vick continue to put in consistently impressive performances finishing in 14th and 21st respectively.

At Retford the club had four athletes compete with Curtis, Courtney and Paige all showing what great assets they are to the club as they all doubled up over the weekend.

In the boys race Curtis had his best run of the winter and finished 10th, his first top 10 of the winter.

In the girls race Courtney continued her fine winter finishing in fifth place, Paige ran well to finish 14th and they were joined by Holly Spencer who just back from holiday put in a tremendous performance to finish 17th.