Proud Mansfield Harriers have unveiled their own version of the Magnificent Seven -- the young athletes who will represent Nottinghamshire at the UK Junior Inter-Counties Championships next month.
The competition, to be held at the Pingles Stadium in Nuneaton on Saturday, September 10, is one of the highlights of the track season for U15 and U13 athletes, who take on rivals from seven other counties.
Selection is earned through excellent performances during the four Nottinghamshire mini-league events, and leading the way for the Mansfield club is Sophia Stewart, who has performed to a very high standard in the U15 category throughout the season. She has been rewarded with places in the 100m, discus and 4X200m relay events.
Harriers’ jump specialist Chloe Allcock has been picked for the high and long jump, and a third fast-improving U15, Jess Lake, is in the 75m hurdles.
At U13 level, the multi-talented Tania Smith has gained selection in the long jump, shot and 70m hurdles, and is supported by Bryony Evans in the long jump, Sophie Brown in the shot and Henry Bullough in the high jump.
Several of the juniors also competed at the Linford Christie Street Games, with the top three in each event going to Manchester for the finals. In the U15 girls’ event, Sophia Stewart continued her superb run of form by winning the final, closely followed by Katie Kemp in fourth and Jess Lake in fifth.
Tania Smith underlined her ability by winning the U13 event, closely followed by Ellie Sheppard in second and Bryony Evans in joint third, with all three qualifying for the finals.
For the U11s, Tammy Smith put in two outstanding performances to also make the final, while Alex Foster won her heat but narrowly missed out on the final, Ava Blake was second in her heat and just missed qualification to the semi-finals and young trio Emma Greasby, Callie Foster and Emmie Blake all performed with distinction.
In the U13 boys’ event, two of Mansfield Harriers’ U11s shone, with Harry Bolam finishing fourth in the final, narrowly missing out on the trip to Manchester, and Ellis Blake running a terrific heat but just missing the final.
On the roads, the final event in this year’s Nottinghamshire AAA Summer League series took place at Teversal. For Harriers, Stuart King went into the race as overall champion-elect and by coming home a comfortable third, he confirmed his position as this year’s gold medallist.
Returning from injury, Andy Wetherill ran a gutsy race to cross the line in 38th and take the 50-to-59 age group title, while the men’s veteran team won again on the night for a clean sweep of all five events to take the team championship.
After King, in a field of 259 finishers, the next man in for Mansfield was Chris Allcock in 21st, followed by Phil Shaw 40th, Gary Morley 53rd, Nigel Watkins 62nd and Pete Stafford 69th. First home for the ladies out of a field of 159 was Helen Jones in 21st, followed by Karen Waterhouse 42nd, Jackie Duers 69th, Maddy Collinge 83rd and Julia Lowe 90th.