The Mansfield Harriers young athletes put in a stunning performance at the latest Notts Mini League Cross Country event at King George V playing fields.
After two much improved second place performances the team put in a result to remember on home turf as they came away with a magnificent team win by 30 match points and are now very close to the powerful Notts AC team with two fixtures to go.
This is the first team win in this league for many years with a superb 41 athletes competing and the development can be seen over the last few years as at the corresponding fixture three years ago Mansfield only had four competitors and placed a long way in last place.
The improvement can be seen in many area’s and one of the highlights this year is the U11 boys who at this fixture improved the team score by over 20 points from the last two.
The team have trained hard all winter and big improvements are now being seen.
Typical of this would be the third team scorer in this fixture Adam Hursthouse who has shown massive improvement to go from 26th to 15th in this race to close the team.
Leading the boys in was Isaac Hibbert in sixth place followed by Eddie Holden eighth, Joel Brereton 19th, Will Wilkinson 20th. Three of the team made debuts with Dan Adams 22nd, Harrison Walker 32nd and Oliver Buglass 50th.
The U11 girls continue to shine and again won the age group with some impressive running. Isabel Westwood and Freya Longmead continue to dominate taking another superb first and second place respectively.
One of the performances of the day came from Amelia Arbon who had her best race to date with a superb 5th closely followed by Ellie Jones ninth, Charlotte Pinnock 11th and Amelia Arnold 30th. Two debut performances came from Lyla Webb 26th and Connie Wray 45th.
At the U13 boys age group the team goes from strength to strength in both quality and numbers with another team win earned after another series of impressive individual performances.
A dominant front running performance from Jake Greenhalgh saw him take the victory by over 20 seconds with Jake Orr having a tremendous run for 3rd and another having his best club run to date was Sam Knott who placed fifth.
Edward Sankey had another great run for ninth followed by Matthew Young 20th, Harley-Jay Martin 22nd, Harry Wilkinson 23rd, William Sankey 27th, Ellis Blake 30th and James Cantrill-Noble 34th.
Alex Foster had one of the runs of her fledgling athletics career as like Greenhalgh she put in a dominant front running performance to win the U13 girls race by 11 seconds.
Beth Hamilton placed 4th and Ruby Milnes had her best race of the winter to place seventh.
Grace Manson put in a great run to come home 10th as did the whole team with Ava Blake 16th, Zoe Spencer 18th, Jemima Waller 19th, Elizabeth Sinclair 26th and Martha Yanney 29th.
Great team packing was the highlight of the U15 girls as the team put in another tremendous team performance. First home and yet another with her best race for Mansfield to date was Caitlin Dodds who placed fifth.
Close behind in a four way sprint to the line was Olivia Barrett in sixth and Olivia Hare seventh.
Sophie Toyn put in her trademark solid run to come home 14th and Isabel Hibbert finished 17th. Once again the only struggle was the U15 boys where Mansfield only had one runner so had to take the last place finisher plus one to complete the team scores.
This did not deter the solo runner Cole Beck who put in another superb run to place seventh place.
Mansfield took a small team to the second of the Booth Cross Country League fixtures at Chaddesden Park in Derby.
The course was described as 4.4 miles mainly over parkland with some tricky stream crossings. Phil Shaw continues his rich vein of form placing 31st overall in 27.59 which also won him the masters 50 category. Martin Fickling was next home in 39th 28.25 with Shaun Arrowsmith 178th 35.07, Glenn Holland 219th 37.14 and Kev Whitehead 255th 39.48.
For the women first home was Katherine Packwood in 95th overall recording 31.51 closely followed by Jessie Crawshaw 118th 32.48 with Bev Armstrong 163rd 34.20, Michelle Baxter 282nd 44.53 and Tina Copcutt 290th 48.42.
Overall the women placed 6th team the men 12th and the combined team finished 9th.
On the roads Rob Lacey competed in the Rother Valley Running Festival Marathon which was particularly challenging as the course was over nine laps.
Showing great resolve Lacey came away with a new best time of 3.51.22. At the same event Katherine Knight recorded a new best time in the 10k with a terrific time of 49.15.
Neil Cope continues to show great form this year and placed 5th with 35.49 at the Matthew Walker Pudding Run 10K held at Heanor.
Shaun Arrowsmith raced to 53.31, Michelle Baxter 62.30 and Tina Copcutt 64.35.
A small number of Mansfield athletes travelled to the EIS at Sheffield for the Northern Athletics Open Meeting. Racing in next summers age groups this was a fantastic early indication to see how the winter training is going.
Moving up to the U17 age group Ellie Sheppard appears to be changing in great form after recording 8.30 for the 60 metres 19.99 for the 150 metres and 9.54 metres in the Shot.
Jess Lake recorded 20.17 for the 150 and 10.47 metres in the Triple Jump with Chris Ashmore and Tammy Smith recording 8.70 and 8.95 respectively for the 60 metres. Sophie Toyn completed the indoor line up with a 2.00.62 time for 600 metres.