Wakefield Harriers’ Mason helps GB to second place at European Championships

Annabel Mason at the recent Yorkshire Cross Country Championships.
Annabel Mason at the recent Yorkshire Cross Country Championships.

Wakefield Harriers’ Annabel Mason helped Great Britain to a second place finish the European Mountain Running Championships last week.

Defending champion Mason went into the race still recovering from a recent injury, but put in an excellent display to finish in eighth place, and was the second British runner to finish.

Mason completed the race in a time of 28 mins 14 secs to finish inside the top ten and secure second place for Team GB.

Catriona Graves was the pick of the British athletes as she finished sixth, while Georgia Malir came in 12th and Lydia Sharp finished 21st.

The event was won by German Melanie Albrecht, who blew away the rest of the field to finish 40 secs clear of her nearest rivals in a brilliant 25 mins 49 secs.

The British team ultimately lost out on first place overall as they finished just two points behind champions Russia at the event, which was held at Borovets, Bulgaria on Saturday, July 6.

Elsewhere, rising athletics star Scott Atkinson, from Gomersal, has been picked for the Great Britain team that will compete in the European Junior Championships next week.

Atkinson, pictured right, who competes for Wakefield Harriers, will represent Team GB for the first time in the 4x400m relay team that will go for glory in the championships in Rieti, Italy.

The youngster is having the best year of his career so far and the call-up to the Great Britain team comes hot on the heels of his silver medals at the National AAAs Championships and the English Schools Athletic Association Championships.

One of the highlights so far this season was the 400m silver at the National U20s Championships and European Qualifiers.

Atkinson not only set a personal best but also recorded a new Harriers club record of 47.91secs on his way to second place.

The youngster also got his hands on a silver medals at the English Schools Track & Field Championships in Birmingham last weekend.

Atkinson came close to again breaking his own U20 club record with a run of 47.97 secs in the Senior boys’ 400m, having come through his heat with another impressive time of 48.99 secs.

He was ultimately forced to settle for silver in the final, but will be pleased with another good display.

Abigail Roberts also grabbed a silver medal at the Championships, as she jumped close to her best in the Inter girls’ Pole Vault with a superb 3.70m, beaten only by a record-breaking performance from the eventual champion.

Other Harriers competing for West Yorkshire Schools were Kieran Thackray (11th Senior boys’ Hammer 52.06m), William Rotherforth (7th ht Senior boys’ 200m in 22.71secs), Bethany Sharp (5th ht Senior girls’ 400m Hurdles 68.92secs), Rebecca Tolson (14th Inter girls’ High jump 1.54m), Rebecca Firth (9th ht 1 Inter girls’ 1500m 4mins 48.96secs), Lucy Robinson (9th ht 2 Inter girls’ 1500m 4mins 51.84secs) and Ben Read (6th ht Inter boys’ 800m 1m 59.65secs).

Fellow Wakefield athlete Kate Offord is enjoying a good run of form as she continues to rake in the medals at both junior and senior competitions.

Offord won the Intermediate Girls 3000m event at the recent West Yorkshire Schools Athletics Championships in a time of 13 mins 8.39 secs as she dominated a tough field.

She had previously taken an excellent second place finish in the female youth category at the Leeds Bradford Aquathlon, held at Leeds University of Sunday, May 19.

Last month, she came fourth in the Scissett Triathlon, demonstrating her ability in senior events.