Mansfield Harriers six shine in nationals at Sheffield

Mansfield Harriers had six athletes compete in the England Athletics age group (U15, U17 and U20) championships at the English Institute of Sport at Sheffield last weekend, writes Richard Massey.

Monday, 21st February 2022, 11:09 am
Updated Monday, 21st February 2022, 11:09 am
Beth Hamilton - pipped into fourth place in exciting finish.
Beth Hamilton - pipped into fourth place in exciting finish.

Although classed as an English Championship it sees athletes from all four home nations compete and is the highlight of the winter indoor calendar for the age groups.

All six performed with great distinction and three managed to record top six placings.

Beth Hamilton came closest to a medal, finishing fourth in the U17 800m.

In a tactical final the pre-race favourite kicked with a lap to go.

Coming out of the last bend it looked like Beth could pass the athlete in third, but the Scottish athlete closed the gap on the inside, and the podium finish was missed by an agonising 0.36 of a second.

Ben Smith also came close to a medal, placing fifth in the U20 800m final ,recording a personal best time of 1.55.27 after running another best in his heat of 1.55.43.

Brandon Lee completed the top six performances in the U17 Triple Jump as he leaped out to a new personal best of 12.82m for sixth place.

The clubs sprinters are showing signs of significant improvement under coach Martin White and three performed impressively at the competition. All racing in the 60m, U20 Josh Yanney recorded a personal best time of 7.33 seconds, Rhys Elias ran a personal best time of 7.31 seconds in the U17 age group and Ethan Williams recorded a season's best of 7.85 in the U15 age group.

On the roads Mansfield Harriers put in a strong showing at the Scunthorpe Valentines 10K, the Nottingham Holme Run Half Marathon, 10K and 5K and the Nottingham Winter 5K.

All three events had challenging conditions for running fast, however the club athletes put in stellar performances.

Racing at Scunthorpe Kristian Watson placed fifth in a time of 32.03, Dan Hardy seventh in a new best time of 33.46, Jordan Boam 14th 34.34 and Matt Bottomore came home in 30th place and a new best time of 36.18. The team also placed second behind a strong Lincoln team and Watson teamed up with his wife Claire to win the couples event.

The Holme Pierrepont event consisted of racing laps around the rowing course and, being open the wind, provided a challenge to the competitors. However, the Mansfield athletes responded with great purpose with Claire Croll recording a big best over the half marathon.

Croll is currently in training for the Manchester marathon and ran a five minute best time of 1.52.41, supported by club mate Dave Savage who crossed the line in 1.52.40.

New member Alex Hampson showed what an asset he will be to Mansfield as he recorded a new best time of 14.59 for 5K and in the 10k Rob Kendrick also ran well to record a personal best time of 39.29.

In what has become a recent common theme the Embankment 5K was raced in challenging conditions as the athletes battled into the winds of Storm Dudley.

Alex Hampson had his second win over the distance in a week, recording 15.33, with Dave Savage recording a big best of 18.48 to win the V45 category and Paige Roadley placed third lady in a time of 21.45.