Beth Hamilton bagged the gold, Ruby Milnes the silver and Alex Foster the bronze after all three were involved in a thrilling final round at Berry Hill Park in Mansfield on Saturday.
Hamilton went into the race not only leading the series but also unbeaten. However, for once, she had to play second fiddle to teammate Foster, who produced a tremendous performance to make up for earlier struggles in the league, caused by her diabetes and blood-sugar levels. This time she ran the race of ler life, outsprinting her clubmate on the home straight after a race run at a ferocious pace. Milnes finished a fine fourth, with another Harrier, Ava Blake, in 27th.
Meanwhile, in the race for years eight and nine boys, Henry Bullough unleashed his best display of the winter with a commanding performance to lead throughout and earn a series medal. Sam Bentley was ninth in the race for years ten and 11 boys, while Amelia Shackleford was a solid 21st in the contest for girls in years eight and nine.
The Mansfield club also had a good turnout in the year-six races, with James Flint fifth for the boys, closely follow by Matthew Young, who showed fine determination in eighth, William Sankey in 20th, Joel Brereton in 34th, Oliver Allen in 54th and William Sankey in 86th.
The year-six girls proved how they are developing into a strong squad. Ella Kennedy placed seventh, followed by Freya Longmead in eighth, Jemima Waller in ninth, Martha Yanney in 14th, Ellie Jones in 17th, Lucy Miller in 24th and Amelia Arnold in 63rd.
Harriers might have tasted more glory in the year-seven boys’ event but for a freak piece of bad luck. Jake Orr was joint first in the series, only to lose a shoe with just half a lap to go of this final race, which resulted in the title slipping from his grasp. Oliver Bullough ran well for fourth and earned himself a medal in the overall standings, while Harley-Jay Martin placed ninth and Harry Wilkinson 16th.
The club’s junior athletes also enjoyed lots of success at the district schools cross-country championships at Sherwood Pines, where schools from the Bassetlaw, Newark and Sherwood and Mansfield regions held their own age-group contests.
Victories were secured by Amnelia Shackleford, who produced a career-best in the Mansfield years eight and nine girls’ race, Maddison Pallester in the Mansfield years ten and 11 girls’ race, Amber and Mollie Scott, who were joint first in the Bassetlaw years 12 and 13 girls’ event, Beth Hamilton in the Newark year-seven girls’ race, Alex Foster in the Mansfield year-seven girls’ race, Jake Orr in the Mansfield year-seven boys’ race, and also Ben Smith in the Newark years ten and 11 boys’ contest.