Mansfield Harriers’ duo light up start of cross-country league

Jake Greenhalgh, who produced an amazing victory for Mansfield Harriers.
Jake Greenhalgh, who produced an amazing victory for Mansfield Harriers.

Amazing wins by Jake Greenhalgh and Jenson Connell were the stand-out performances for Mansfield Harriers at the first fixture of the North Midland Cross-Country League season.

Because of some horrendous fixture-clashes, Harriers took only a small team to the event at Markeaton Park in Derby, and Greenhalgh was their only junior.

Jenson Connell, who stormed to victory in the U17 boys' race.

Jenson Connell, who stormed to victory in the U17 boys' race.

But he went straight to the front at the gun in the U13 boys’ race and pushed further and further away to hammer a strong field.

Connell displayed similar dominance in the U17 boys’ race, taking charge immediately and forging clear to take the spoils.

The improving Mikey Hopkins also ran well to finish 13th in the 6,000m, which was his first attempt on grass, while Nancy Britten battled througth the pain barrier to take fifth in the U17 girls’ race, even though her calf muscle cramped on the first lap.

Andy Wetherill continued to defy the years and put in a fine display to finish 57th in the 10K race, while in the same event, another from the over-60s’ age group, Steve Davies, came home 161st, ahead of new recruiits Glenn Holland (220th) and Kev Whitehead (224th).

In the senior ladies’ contest, Kahli Johnson worked her way through a strong field to take 36th, ahead of May Roberts in 46th on her senior debut, Bev Armstrong in 49th and Amanda Hardy, who made a welcome return to racing in 78th.

On the roads, the remarkable Clive Buck continued to defy all logic, smashing his personal best at the Leicester Marathon to record two hours, 53.16 minutes, which was his third sub-three hour time inside four weeks.

Sharon Squires was celebrating too because her time of 4.31 was good enough to win the over-60s’ race and also crown her the Nottinghamshire county champion for her age group.

At the Yorkshire Marathon, which was held in York, Harriers’ Sarah Scott competed only two weeks after tackling a gruelling, solo 24-hour race, but she showed no sign of fatigue, slashing 30 minutes off her previous best time by clocking 4.35.05.