Three talented track stars from Mansfield Harriers did the club proud with performances out of the top drawer in a prestigious meeting at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.
Luke Duffy, Chris Monk and Jonny Lowe all flew the Harriers flag at the Run, Jump, Throw and British Milers Club (BMC) meeting by overcoming stiff challenges.
Duffy and Monk faced a surprisingly strong field for the BMC 800 A race, and for the first two laps, the pair stayed at the back. But between the 500m and 600m marks, Duffy surged to the front and, using all his strength and determination on the last lap, he maintained his place to cross the line in a new personal-best time of one minute, 54.88 seconds.
Not far behind him was Monk and although his progress was thwarted when he had to check his stride coming out of the last bend, he was still delighted to record his best time of 2017, 1.55.64.
Lowe attemped a 400m/800m double, which was always gtoing to be difficult, given that only 30 minutes separated the two races. But he performed superbly, clocking 59.98 and 2.21.57.
Meanwhile, Harriers fielded 27 youngsters at the fourth fixture of the Nottinghamshire Mini Cross-Country League at a very wet and cold Worksop College, including an U15 boys’ team for the first time in several years. Undeterred by the weather, Henry Bullough finished a superb fourth in his first race of the winter, Sam Bentley fifth and Joel Whittaker-Naylor 11th.
Nine U11 boys, topped by James Flint in seventh and Daniel Graham in eighth, were also in fine form, while a top-ten place was achieved too by Jake Orr, who ran a controlled race to finish eighth for the U13 boys, ahead of Cole Beck in 11th and Harry Wilkinson in 20th.
IMPRESSIVE performances by the U13 and U11 girls was a highlight of Mansfield Harriers’ appearance at the latest fixture in the Nottinghamshire Mini Cross-Country League at Worksop College.
Beth Hamilton and Alex Foster were the stars of the show for the 13s, finishing third and fourth respectively, while Ruby Milnes produced a very brave run, going out with the leading pack and only falling back in the last part of the race, coming home a superb ninth.
Sophie Toyn showed the benefit of some tremendous training sessions as she enjoyed her best run for the club to date, placing 15th, while Ava Blake came home 26th, Amelia Shackleford 27th, Elizabeth Sinclair 28th and Hannah Brereton 30th.
The U11 girls fielded a much smaller team than usuial because of family commitments. However, the quartet they refer to as ‘the fantastic four’ all performed to a very high level. In career-best runs, Ella Kennedy placed third, Isabel Westwwood was just behind in fourth, Jemima Walker performed strongly to come home eighth and Lauren Gascoyne also shone in 11th position.