Mansfield Harriers’ youngsters grace the Paula Radcliffe Stadium

Johar Ali, who recorded a personal-best time for Mansfield Harriers at the Charnwood Open Meeting.
Johar Ali, who recorded a personal-best time for Mansfield Harriers at the Charnwood Open Meeting.

A string of superb performances made the penultimate Charnwood Open Meeting in Loughborough a hugely successful fixture for Mansfield Harriers.

A terrific turnout of athletes from the club graced the Paula Radcliffe Stadium, including Bryony Evans, their only field-event competitor on display.

After a season of near misses in her pursuit of the English Schools Championship qualifying distance for the javelin, Evans finally made it. She launched the javelin a massive 41.44 metres, which put her in the top 15 in the UK rankings.

The only sprinter racing was Amelia Shackleford, who enjoyed a very strong run, recording 14.37 seconds, only 0.03 outside her best for 100m.

Twelve Harriers turned out for the 800m, with the highlight coming in the A race where Dylan George and Ben Smith broke the two-minute barrier for the first time in the same event, clocking 1.58.83 and 1.59.17 respectively. They were new personal bests (PBs) by nine and four seconds.

Season’s bests were delivered by Chris Monk and Jordan Boam, while Beth Hamilton looked in great shape for the upcoming English Schools Championships, running a two-second PB of 2.17.52.

Johar Ali started the season with a 2.42 800m but after a series of impressive subsequent runs, he recorded 2.23.50 to front-run and win his heat for a PB of four seconds.

In the same heat, there were good PBs for Caitlin Dodds (2.24.08) and Grace Manson (2.27.99), while Nancy Britten posted her second-ever fastest time with 2.26,30 and Alex Foster ran 2.27.84. Sophie Toyn raced to a new best of 2.38.49 and Bev Armstrong ran a strong race for 2.42.08.

Ruby Milnes took the Harrier headlines in the 1500m with a superbly-paced run that yielded a new best time of 5.06.23, a five-second improvement. Very close to best times were Amber Scott with 4.38.20 and Ella Kennedy with 5.21.80, while Mollie Scott ran 5.10 and Sam Knott 4.58.81.

Meanwhile, 22 Harriers tackled the fourth round of the Booths Decorators Summer League series on a tough 4.25-mile course at Carsington Water in Derbyshire.

Neil Cope led the team back as he placed 11th in 25.21 minutes, while Phil Shaw continued his excellent runs in the league, finishing 40th in 27.15, Ste Rye was 52nd in 28.10, Pete Stafford 71st in 29.04, Mark Fickling 129th in 31.23, Dave Carver 183rd in 33.44, Roy Smith 193rd in 34.17, Graeme Baguley 194th in 34.23, Shaun Middleton 201st in 34.46, Shaun Arrowsmith 227th in 35.38, Pete Weldon 240th in 36.22, Matt Bevan 272nd in 38.16, Pete Copcutt 295th in 40.21 and Wayne Breider-Potton 313th in 43.03.

For the ladies, Kirsty Huntington was first home, placing 108th in 30.40, ahead of Bev Armstrong, who was 153rd in 32.34, Natasha Carver, who was 225th 35.25, Sandra Baguley, who was 228th in 35.44, Karen Kowalski, who was 291st in 40.05,, and Heather Barber, who was 294th in 40.19.