NoEAA Indoor ChampionshipsReport by: Bryan Murray
20th & 21st January 2001 - Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield
Back row: Lisa Hall, Zoe Gowland, Chris Kirk, Ruth Laybourn, Emily Mason, Fiona Westwood.
Front row: Aine Hoban, Katie Richardson, Jasmin Kerry, Elaine Hardbattle
Wakefield Harriers athletes claimed a clutch of medals at the recent North of England indoor championships. The competition was split between Thornes Park Stadium, Wakefield, and the Don Valley, Sheffield.
Part one of the championship was at Wakefield's indoor facility which held the pole vault, shot putt and long jump events.
In the U17 women's long jump, Wakefield entered two athletes, Vicky Lambert and Ruth Laybourn. The competition for medals was fierce and between five athletes. Laybourn's best jumped was measured at 5.25m - a good distance but it was good enough for only fifth place.
Three athletes, including Lambert, fought out the first three places. Lambert was just pipped by Emma Wooff (Wigan Harriers) who won the title in a championship best jump of 5.44m. Lambert measured 5.42m. Sarah Humphreys (Border Harriers) claimed third place with 5.37m.
Laybourn had a busy schedule and also competed in the U17 women's shot. Her best effort of 7.89m placed in ninth overall.
There was a close finish in the men's U17 long jump. The top two athletes topped six metres. Wakefield's Chris Kirk was making his championship debut and jumped 6.22m - but it placed him second behind Suote Nyananyo (Mandale Harriers) with 6.35m.
In the U20 women's long jump Katie Richardson was pipped for top spot by Mandy Crompton (Oldham and Royston) with 5.39m to the winner's 5.41 m.
Wakefield had two competitors in the girls' U15 shot putt final. Laura Teasdale and Chloe Beckett are first years in the age group. Teasdale was eighth with a putt of 8.14m and Beckett tenth with 7.48m.
Part two of the championships were held over two days at Don Valley. The first day's events were the high jump, triple jump and long jump.
The senior women's long jump event was a close affair between Wakefield's Fiona Westwood and Ruth Irving, Elaine Smith and Margaret Veldman. Sale Harriers' Veldman suffered a leg injury, leaving it a three-horse race. Westwood led right into the last round with a 5.70m jump. But Irving (Edinburgh Woollen Mill) produced a late effort to pip Westwood with a leap of 5.89m.
Wakefield's Martyn Bernard contested the U17 men's high jump and produced a great series of jumps to secure the gold medal. Bernard cleared 1.94m to secure the title three centimetres ahead of the second and third-placed jumpers.
Kelly Brow was also engaged in a close contest in the senior women's triple jump and secured fourth place with a jump of 10.68m.
In the U17 women's high jump - Wakefield Harrier Emily Mason lost out on gold to Lucy Plant (Rotherham) on count back after both cleared 1.55m but failed at the higher height.
Judith Payne travelled back from university to represent the Harriers in the senior women's high jump and was rewarded with a silver medal. Trafford's Susan Jones won with a championship best 1.89m while Payne edged out Rebecca Mawer (Grimsby Harriers) on count back after both cleared 1.68m.
The sprints took over on the second day but fast times were not expected as the indoor surface has only recently been re-laid.
Katie Richardson ran 8.20 secs in her heat of the 60m U20 women's event and finished fourth overall.
Emily Freeman, Fiona Westwood and Nicole Crosby progressed to the final of the senior women's 60m sprint. Westwood and Crosby finished second and third respectively in the opening heat in 7.90 sees and 8.00 secs. Freeman won heat two in 7.80 secs. Freeman went on to win in 7.67 secs with Crosby a surprise third in 7.78 secs and Westwood fifth in 7.91 secs.
In the U17 women's 60m sprint, Wakefield boasted four athletes who all progressed to the final. Ruth Laybourn won her heat clear in 8.30 secs from Vicky Lockwood in third in 8.40 secs. First year U17 Laura Robinson was second in heat three in 8.40 secs. And another first year, Nicole Welsh was second in her heat. Robinson was third in the semis with Welsh improving her time to 8.30 secs in the same race. Laybourn won the second semi in 8.16 secs with Lockwood fourth in a faster 8.30 secs.
Laybourn clinched bronze in the final in a time of 8.19 secs with Robinson a notable fourth in an improved time of 8.20 secs. Welsh was seventh in 8.28 secs and Lockwood eighth in 8.56 secs.
Laura Teasdale, girls' U15s, ran a time of 9.37 secs in her heat of the 60m, and she placed fifth in the B final in 9.60 secs.
Chris Kirk switched to the track in the men's U17 60m hurdles and clocked 10.10 secs for third in his heat.
Emily Mason (women's U 17 60m hurdles) won her heat in a pb-breaking 9.31 secs. Mason improved her time slightly in the final to clock 9.30 secs.