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Williams makes England under-20 bow in Cardiff

Bethany Williams
Bethany Williams

Mansfield Harriers’ Bethany Williams gained her first England vest competing last Wednesday night at Cardiff in the Welsh under 20 international.

The fixture was originated as a way of providing competition opportunity for Under 20 athletes as a pathway to senior international competition, with selection based on performances at the area championships.

By winning the Midlands U20 1500 metre championship, Williams was selected to compete in the mile event for an England development team, a distance she has not raced before.

The 17-year-old, who comes from Ollerton, ran an assured race. After a slow first lap the race picked up and she was in a battle for third for the last two laps, breaking away in the last 300 metres and coming very close to catching second, recording a time of 5.04.

The day before, several athletes had competed at Tipton in the British Milers Club regional races. Leading the way for Mansfield in the 800 metres were Lewis Ashmore and Luke Duffy who both went under the two minute barrier for the first time, clocking 1.56.9 and 1.57.3 respectively.

May Roberts was close to her personal best time, recording 2.21. Courtney Spencer completed the 800m runners, recording a season’s best of 2.32.

In the 1500m, Archie Rayner recorded 4.01, Chris Brown 4.04 and Jordan Boam 4.24.

On the roads the Mansfield club competed in the fourth of the Notts AAA Summer league at Worksop College.

The club had 34 athletes finish on the night which is the biggest number for several years and confirms the clubs upturn on the road running scene.

The men’s veteran team won again to virtually confirm themselves as county champions for the season, with Stuart King and Andy Wetherill leading in the senior men and over 50 age groups.Individually, King won the men’s event out of a field of 253 closely followed by Mark Johnson in second and James Mee in fifth.

First home for the ladies was the fast improving Kerrie Allen who came across the line 28th out of the 163 ladies taking part.

Helen Jones was next lady home in 34th followed by Kahli Johnson in 40th.

In the team events the men finished second out of 23, the highest place this season, while the veteran men’s three teams finished first, fourth and tenth out of 20.

The ladies had two teams, finishing 12th and 20th out of 23, and the veteran ladies also had two teams recording seventh and 20th out of 24.

Several Harriers ran in the Crich Memorial race over 11.3k, an event that could almost be classed as a fell race with over 1,000 feet of climb.

Gary Morley was first man home in 17th place followed by Martin Fickling 36th, Jack Cooke 42nd and Paul Macis 117th. First lady in was Maddy Collinge who came home in 177th which was good enough for first over 60 lady, followed by Sue Pepperday 205th and Denise Winfield 227th.

At the Notts 5, run around the Embankment in very hot conditions, Alan Kemp was first Harrier home in a time of 39.40, Maddy Collinge 42.59, Jo Walker 45.24, Denise Winfield 48.11 and Mel Ceney 48.14.

Last week also saw the return of the Hardwick 10k run around the hills of Hardwick Hall and Pilsley, and again a large number of Harriers completed the course, the fastest of them being Steve Davies in 42.45. First lady Harrier was Kirsty Fairburn-Wint in 50.41 while Maddy Collinge won the over-60 prize in 56.19.