Northern Mens League
Report by:Bryan Murray
6th May 2000 - Dorothy Hyman Stadium, Barnsley
Wakefield Harriers' mens track and field team opened their 2000 campaign with a respectable second place in a close-fought Northern Division 2 match.
With several key track athletes missing due to injury or work commitments, it was left to the field eventers to win the lion's share of the club's points.
Out of the eight field events contested, Wakefield athletes won four of the A-string competitions and five of the B strings.
They completed three A and B doubles, a fourth being prevented only when James Wild came second
in the A high jump on countback with a best leap of 1.90m. U17 athlete Martin Bernard won the B string in 1.75m.
The three doubles were in the long jump, triple jump and javelin. Gary Slade won the long jump A with 6.50m and U17 Alan Ruddock won the B competition in 6.28m.
In the triple jump, Slade settled for winning the B event in 12.31m while U17 John Uridge prevailed in the A event with a best leap of 12.86m. In both these events, the B result was good enough to have beaten all other A competitors.
The final A and B double came in the javelin where Chris Hughff dominated the event, winning the A event by nearly eight metres with a throw of 55.32m. He was ably supported by U17 Mark Lindsay with a throw of 46.28m.
The other field event wins were provided by Paul Sutcliffe, who won the B hammer with a throw of 38.78m, Robert Taylor was third in the A with 40.38m. Sutcliffe followed this by snatching victory in the A discus with his last throw of the competition, 38.15m.
The only field events to not yield a winner were the shot where acting team manager Alan Slack covered the B event and ended up with a second place, and the pole vault, where former team manager Ian Howey cleared the bar for fifth in the A.
Howey had a busy day, providing one of two track winners with a close victory in the 400m hurdles B race in 63.2 secs. He followed this up by gaining points in the 3000m steeplechase A and finished the day with a third in the 110m hurdles B.
On a day when all points were precious, a special mention must go to new recruits John Hackleton and Robert Whitworth who completed the arduous double of 1500m and 5000m Both were rewarded with personal bests.
There was also a pb recorded by Robert Higson-Blyth in the 200m with 24.3 secs. He also added to his points tally with third place the 100m B in 11.7 secs. In the A race, long jump winner Alan Ruddock was fourth in 11.5 secs.
U17 athlete Steve Faulkner acquitted himself well in a highly competitive 800m A race against senior athletes, and on this showing his time of 2:04.6 is sure to come down this summer.
The best performance on the track was by javelin specialist Hughff in both hurdles events. He opened the day with a third in the unfamiliar 400m hurdles A competition in 61.9 secs and followed this with a win in the 110m A hurdles. His winning time of 15.9 sees provided Wakefield with their only A track winner of the day.
Everyone performed well on the day and their efforts were rewarded with a second place overall in the team competition, won by hosts Barnsley AC.
This team performance augers well for the rest of the season where a top two finish in the league would qualify the team for the promotion play-off match.