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West Yorkshire Schools
Cross Country Championships 2000

Report by: Bryan Murray

5th February 2000 - Lightcliffe

Wakefield Harriers stars turned out for their schools bidding for a place in the West Yorkshire squad to contest the English Schools Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hills, London, in March.

In the junior section, Zoe Gowland, Carly Wright, Jasmin Kerry and Lisa Hall contested their 3400m event. Gowland led from the gun and came home a comfortable winner.

Wright and Kerry had a battle on their hands as qualification requires athletes to be placed in the first eight. By halfway a group of nine was vying for the remaining seven places.

Wright fought out to place seventh but Kerry was squeezed out to ninth. She may travel as a reserve, however.

Hall, on her first outing back from injury, held on until the halfway stage but the lack of training showed and she finished 13th overall.

The intermediate race boasted one of the most talented line-ups of the day. Aine Hoban, Samantha Colley and Lucy Martin were the Harriers trio involved representing Wakefield Schools.

Martin was full of confident running and positioned herself well with Colley and Hoban in a good pack of 15 athletes.

With nine of these competitors coming in the top 15 finishers at the previous week's Northern Championships it was always going to be tough for the Wakefield girls to qualify.

In the last quarter, the pace increased and Hoban showed tremendous form to hang on to place sixth in a group of eight. Colley and Martin finished gamely in 12th and 14th respectively.

In the senior girls' event, two Harriers athletes, Laura Sheard (Wakefield Schools) and Natalie White (Leeds Schools), fought hard to break each other. White eventually sprinted clear to leave a 20 metre gap between her and second-placed Sheard.

In the inter boys' section, Steve Faulkner took sixth place to also gained his county place. Always up with the leaders, he maintained his effort throughout to record one of his best outings of the season.

Paul Lockwood, the Yorkshire champion, was looking for a good run over the country - and got it. He had to settle for second on the day but will be going all-out for victory in the main event come March 11th.