Relay heroes win bronze medals for Mansfield Harriers

Lauren McNeil, who produced a remarkable performance for Mansfield Harriers.
Lauren McNeil, who produced a remarkable performance for Mansfield Harriers.

Bronze medals were gained by both U17 teams as Mansfield Harriers enjoyed a day to remember at the annual Midland Championship Autumn Road Relays, held at Sutton Coldfield.

It had been doubtful if the U17 girls could compete at all because of injuries, but their team spirit shone through in an effort spearheaded by Lauren McNeil.

In a race comprising three legs over 3,880 metres, McNeil stormed through the opening leg to finish second and clocked the second fastest time of the day, 14.14 minutes, which was a remarkable achievement for a first-year athlete.

Nancy Britten produced her best race to date in a Mansfield vest to record the sixth fastest time of the day, 15.04 minutes, before Jessie Crawshaw ran a controlled last leg to ensure the team held on to the medal.

The three U17 boys, also tackling three 3,880m legs, were all first-year athletes, so to take third spot was a phenomenal feat, suggesting they could do even better next year.

Jenson Connell led the way with a rapid time of 12.10 minutes to place third on the opening leg and third fastest overall.

Ben Smith moved the team up to second and then Mikey Hopkins put in a fantastic anchor leg to make sure of the bronze, even though he came under big pressure.