Mansfield Harriers were proud to field no fewer than ten athletes at the English Schools Cross-Country Championships, held at a wet, windy and muddy Leeds at the weekend.
The event is the pinnacle of the cross-country season for school-age runners, and all ten produced terrific performances in races that each comprised almost 400 of the best youngsters in the country.
The highest-placed finisher for Harriers was Jenson Connell, who finished an impressive 16th in the intermediate boys’ race, despite getting boxed in early on. He surged through the field with a powerful second lap.
In the same race, arguably the best display from a Mansfield athlete came from Ben Smith, who improved throughout to cross the line in 46th.
Harriers’ other boy in the line-up was Jake Orr, who was one of the youngest and smallest in the junior race, but showed great resolve to finish 328th.
Of the girls to take part, Lauren McNeil was highly satisfied with 19th in the intermediate race to give her lots of confidence going into her preferred track season.
Three junior girls gained valuable big-race experience. Beth Hamilton unveiled her best effort of the winter to come home 74th, ahead of Grace Manson in 164th and Ruby Milnes, who gave away nearly two years to some, in 270th.
In the senior girls’ event, Libby Coleman continued her fine comeback from injury to finish an excellent 19th, while Amber Scott placed 58th and Mollie Scott 110th.