Mackay on song in Mansfield race
● Matthew Mackay ATHLETICS STEVE DUXBURY
MATTHEW Mackay’s winter campaign continued in fine style on Saturday as he clocked the fastest leg of the day in the National Cross Country Relays at Berry Hill, Mansfield.
Two Senior Men’s teams and two U17 Men’s teams made the journey down to Mansfield to take part in one of the highlights of the cross country season and enjoyed a very satisfying day competing against top class opposition.
After starting his season with a win at Leigh the talented U17 year old Harrier led his three man team off on the first 3K leg of the hilly parkland course and worked his way through the 90 strong pack before battling with Leeds City’s Ethan Hussey to the top of the hill and in the final kilometre. Matty eventually powered away ● Joe Johnston to cross the finish line with a three second advantage after 8mins 48secs.
Joel Taylor, in his first year as an U17, found himself up against some of the best young athletes in the country but battled hard throughout his leg as the lead changed hands with Invicta East Kent AC coming to the fore in front of Leeds, Aldershot Farnham & District, Charnwood and Tonbridge.
Max Cunningham, in his first cross country of the season, brought the team home in sixth place from a total of 75 complete teams, a fantastic achievement for the club and Rossendale’s highest position in the history of the fixture.
The B team of Ryan Heneghan, who was the quickest of the three, Kurtis Mitton and Ben Kirkman finished in 64th place, another very good effort and a great experience for the lads. ● Chris Fell
179 teams lined up for the Senior Men’s race and veteran Chris Fell led off for the Harriers’ four man A team clocking 16mins 18secs for the 5K, two lap course, the fastest of the four.
Grant Cunliffe brought the team up to 44th place after his 16mins 51secs leg before handing over to Rob Webb who gained five places with the same time. Joe Johnston brought the team home in 38th spot, after 16mins 46secs, a much improved run from him and one of the best finish positions for the Harriers in recent years.
The Senior B team of Michael Hunt, Joe Waller, Kris Armitage and Andy Preston finished in 76th place with Joe Waller taking the honours for the quickest of the four.
Elsewhere on the roads on Sunday Andy Buttery grabbed fifth place and first MV45 in the Tatton Half Marathon in a time of 1hr 18mins 27secs.