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Records Fall at West Yorkshire Schools
Athletics Championships

News report by: Webmaster + additional reporting by Bryan Murray

10th June 2000 - Princess Mary Stadium, Cleckheaton

Wakefield Harriers athletes enjoyed a day of glorious sunshine at the West Yorkshire Schools championships, and provided a fine display of top performances for the spectators. Six Harriers athletes qualified on the day for the national championships at Sheffield in July.

Charles Handley in the junior boys hammer claimed the championship record with a fine 45.83m throw, almost nine metres above the required entry standard. In addition he also set a new club record for the event, breaking the record held by Tom Cunnane since 1994 by almost two metres.

Handley is no stranger to breaking records though, always a top performer since before joining Wakefield, he holds the club records for both the discus and shot putt at U13 level.

More records fell when Mark Lindsay took to the field in the intermediate boys javelin. Lindsay, AAA champion at U15 level last year locked horns with the 1999 ESAA junior boys javelin champion Andy Robinson. Unfortunately, Lindsay was not available to beat Robinson for the ESAA championship title in 1999 due to holiday commitments. However, Lindsay will surely make amends at this years national championships.

He threw a massive 58.54 metres to qualify easily past the required 51.00m entry standard, claiming the championship record and beating 2nd placed Robinson by over ten metres in the process.

Under the care of senior throws coach Mike Swain it will not be long before Lindsay is established in the 60m+ class.

And yet another club record fell when John Fletcher stormed down the runway to an emphatic 6.28m victory in the junior boys long jump. Fletcher, who has concentrated on the sprint events in previous years has decided to specialise in the long jump this season.

He said, "The entry standard is 5.70m so at first I just wanted to make sure I was careful in getting over that to qualify", he added, "Once I'd got 5.72m in the first round and knew I was safe, I wasn't bothered anymore about going over the board. So I just thought right, thats it I'm going for a big one".

His way of thinking certainly rewarded him well. In the second round Fletcher did a jump which was clearly further than his first round attempt, unfortunately he took a half pound of plasticine along with him attached to his spikes.

Then in the third round the moment came, he said "I felt shattered when I got up out of the sand, like I'd done a bad one and landed wrong. I walked back to the board as the judges were measuring and saw the centimetre marks on the tape were in the 20's. I thought huh! 5.20ish, then i saw the metres markings and couldn't beleive it when I saw it was over six".

Fletcher's coach, Wilf Paish, was absolutely delighted with Fletcher's performance and said, "This young man has some tremendous talent".

Fletcher is now concentrating all his efforts into preparing for the national championships on the 7th and 8th July, the week before his 14th birthday.

You guessed it...thats right, another club record. Martyn Bernard went to new heights in the intermediate boys high jump with a brilliant 1.96m performance to equal the U17 mens Wakefield club record set by James Wild in 1999.

Bernard went on to tackle the championship record of 1.98m by having the bar set at 1.99m. Although failing the height, Bernard definately looks capable of jumping in the 2.00m+ class before long, and with another year in the age group is bound to make an impact on the event. Senior Eastern Region high jump coach Ian Hill was clearly delighted with Bernard's performance, and will no doubt be pointing him in the right direction for success at the national championships.

Michelle Lonsdale made a welcome return to the javelin scene in the senior girls event. Despite recent injury problems she managed to muster up the grit and determination to qualify with a well executed 38.98m throw, almost two metres above the required distance.

Lonsdale, who narrowly missed out on a medal at last years national championships, will be taking great care to make sure she is in full fitness for this year.

Highly talented all-round athlete Naida Bromley landed a new pb in the junior girls long jump event, although in her first year in the age U15 group she managed to qualify with a leap of 5.11m, just 5cm below the Wakefield club record.

Bromley, who won a silver medal at the recent North of England AA combined events, has not been in competition much this season owing to a knee injury she sustained while competing in Germany early in the year. Another club record holder in the U13 age group, she is currently ranked second on the UK all time lists for the U13 girls pentathlon.

Additional Report by Bryan Murray - 30th June 2000...

Laura Robinson won the U15 girls 200m final in convincing style in 26.5 secs Nicole Welsh (Leeds Schools) finished 2nd, with Wakefield's Olivia Smith back in 3rd.

James Wild was 3rd in the senior boys event with 1.95m, while Emily Mason took top spot in the inter girls event, with 1.59m.

The long jump event was also fruitful for Harriers' athletes, in the inter girls event Vicky Lambert triumphed with 5.25m, with Ruth Laybourn 2nd in 4.97m.

Representing Leeds, Matt Young won the senior boys 200m final in 23.3secs, while another Harriers sprinter, John Uridge, easily won the 100m inter boys final in 11.7 secs.

William Maddock produced a best jump of 11.35m to win the junior boys triple jump event.

Wakefield had the first two athletes first-past-the-post in the inter girls 3000m final, with Aine Hoban's superb last 400m enabling her to win in 11:28.1, with Sam Colley trailing in 2nd in 12.09.01.

Mark Ainsworth finished a close 2nd in the senior boys 400m final in 54.4, while Kirsty Hodson triumphed in the senior girls 400m hurdles.

The following Wakefield Harriers athletes have been selected for the West Yorkshire Schools teams squad for the English Schools Track and Filed Championships at Sheffield on July 7 and 8.

High jump: Martin Bernard (inter boys), James Wild (senior boys), Emily Mason (inter girls).

Long jump: Naida Bromley (junior girls), John Fletcher (junior boys), Vicky Lambert (inter girls).

100m: John Uridge (inter boys)

200m: Laura Robinson (junior girls).

Javelin: Mark Lindsay (inter boys), Michelle Lonsdale (senior girls).

Hammer: Charles Handley (junior boys).