Mansfield Little Athletics fourth at Benalla Cross Country event

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TEAM EFFORT: Mansfield Little Athletics Club finished fourth at the Benalla Cross Country event on Sunday. Pictured are (from left, rear) Jamison McNamara, Matisse Gardiner, Ebony McNamara, Susan McCormick, Sam Guppy, Oscar Guppy, and Brooke Mullins. (Kneeling) Elise Empey and (front) Zach Empey.

A SMALL but enthusiastic group of athletes from the Mansfield Little Athletics Club travelled to the Reef Hills reserve in Benalla to compete in the annual cross country event on Sunday.

First up was the 2000m under 11 race with three competitors from Mansfield.

Matisse Gardiner ran a fine race for someone who declared that long distance running was not really her passion, finishing sixth, Jamison McNamara worked had to chase the lead pack with a fast finishing fourth, and Elise Empey pushed herself all the way to come home with second.

The under 8s then tackled the 1000m, with Sam Guppy pushing really hard to chase down a fast starter, but ran out of distance coming in a very close second, and then a lot of space before the rest of the field crossed the line.

Oscar Guppy tackled the under 7 1000m, running hard in a closely packed field to finish in fourth, while in under 12, Ebony McNamara raced her 2000m in fine style finishing well clear of her next competitor in first.

Zach Empey competed in one of the biggest fields of the day, under 9 boys, running the 1500m with a huge smile and finished in the middle of the field at ninth.

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