Rayner spearheads golden day to remember for Mansfield Harriers

Seventeen-year-old Archie Rayner storming to victory for Mansfield Harriers in the main race of the day.
Seventeen-year-old Archie Rayner storming to victory for Mansfield Harriers in the main race of the day.

History might have been made as proud Mansfield Harriers stormed to no fewer than six gold medals on a day to remember at the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Cross-Country County Championships at Wollaton Park.

For one of their winners, 17-year-old Archie Rayner, could have been the youngest athlete ever to take the overall men’s title in the event’s long history. He won the combined senior and junior race by a massive 42 seconds for a stunning triumph in the U20s’ championship too.

The day had started with another double for Harriers as Beth Hamilton bagged the U11 girls’ title and helped her team take the team award, alongside Alex Foster, who ran the race of her life to finish third, and Grace Manson, who was a fine seventh.

Next on the golden trail was Luke Duffy, who powered to victory by 18 seconds in the U17s’ race, and the event was rounded off by supervet Maddy Collinge winning the over-60s’ contest.

Harriers’ veteran men also picked up a silver medal, courtesy of Andy Wetherill, who was third in the over-50s’ category, Phil Shaw, Gary Morley and Nigel Watkin, while bronzes went to Alex Rieley (who was also fifth overall) in the U20s’ race, Amanda Hardy in the over-50s’ heat and the women veterans’ team of Kahli Johnson, Eva Williams and Beverley Armstrong.

Jade Bacon narrowly missed out on a medal, finishing fourth in the U20 ladies’ race, as did Henry Bullough, who was fifth in the U13 boys’ race, and the U11 boys’ team, who defied illness within their squad to finish a gallant fifth. Sixth places were recorded by Olivia Barrett in the U13 girls’ race and by Katie Lancaster in the U17s’ Derbyshire race.