Northern Mens League
Report by:Bryan Murray
5th August 2000 - Quibell Park, Scunthorpe
Wakefield Harriers had to settle for fourth spot in the last round of the Northern Men's League Division 2SE. While lying in joint second place with Lincoln Wellington, Wakefield entered the final meeting with the possibility of relegation, with only two points separating the four middle placed clubs.
Fielding a weakened team due to holidays, work commitments and injuries, the match quickly became daunting for Wakefield when multi-eventer Matthew Gillard was injured in the first round of the pole vault, which necessitated a reshuffle of athletes to cover the other events.
Matthew was unable to carry on in that event, but the team responded magnificently, generating a team spirit that other teams found hard to comprehend.
Wakefield had only two winners on the day, with John Uridge winning the A triple jump with 12.21m and Paul Sutcliffe wining the B javelin event with 39.35m.
Craig Heppenstall, home from college, competed in the first match and scored valuable points with a excellent second in the A 800m (2:00.9), a third in the A 1500m, and a second in the B triple jump with 11.02m. He rounded off the day with the fastest leg in the 4x400m relay.
In addition to the javelin event Paul Sutcliffe was second in the A discus with 36.09 and third in the hammer with 38.89.
Chris Carleton, still not 100 per cent fit, nevertheless performed well with a third place in the hammer (23.32m), third in the B javelin (39.72) and a good second in the B shot putt with 10.99m.
In spite of his injury Matthew Gillard was able to complete in a reduced number of events and he contributed valuable points with a third in the B discus (32.56m), a fourth in the A shot putt (11.47) and a fifth in the A pole vault.
Older squad member Jon Howey gained valuable points by competing in the 110 hurdles, 400m hurdles A, high jump A and 3000m steeplechase.
Former International athlete Alan Slack returned to competition in the high jump while showing some of his old form by running a leg in the 4x400m relay.
Club treasurer Terry White made his debut on the track by competing in the 5000m B event and finished fourth in a creditable time of 17:33.3. Running in the A event, Robert Whitworth was fifth in 17.27.
Wakefield's younger members Richard Higson-Blythe, Paul Newman, Steve Thorpe, Mark Ainsworth, Patrick McTigue and James Lloyd did well in their respective events. scoring valuable points to contribute to Wakefield's overall total.
Match result: 1st Lincoln Wellington, 2nd Doncaster and Stainforth, 3rd Scunthorpe, 4th Wakefield, 5th Grantham, 6th Barnsley