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AAA U20 Championships 1999

Report by: Martin Cunnane

3rd to 4th July 1999 - Bedford

Wakefield had six athletes in action at the AAA U20 Championships at Bedford which doubled as trials for the World Junior Championships.

Star of the show among the Harriers contingent was 18 year old sprint sensation Emily Freeman who further enhanced her growing reputation by winning the coveted AAA U20 100m title and with it selection for the British team that will contest the World Junior Championships in Riga, Latvia, from August 5th to 8th.

Freeman qualified comfortably for the final with an 11.83 personal best time in the heats where she finished second to Donna Maylor of Hampstead.

In the final, Freeman broke well and, travelling smoothly, never looked like being caught. She flashed over the line a good metre in front of Maria Bolsover of Hallamshire and Katherine Endacott of Plymouth in a pb winning time of 11.67 secs.

Her winning performance earned her both a place at the distance in next month's World Junior Championships and a slot in the 4x100m relay squad at the same venue.

Freeman went on to reach the final of the 200m where she was denied a notable double by Hearne Harrier Emma Whitter who just got the better of the Wakefield girl to win in 24.10 secs with Freeman collecting silver in 24.56 secs.

In the field, Fiona Westwood leapt a season's best 5.61m to finish sixth in her favoured event, the long jump. Westwood's performance was only 13cms behind the bronze medal distance with the gold going to Emma Hughes of Luton, who registered 6.07m.

Helen Taylor also finished sixth in the hammer final with a pb effort of 41.81m. She continues to improve with each new competition.

The event was won by Zoe Denham of Yate AC with 51.10m, but with Taylor being in the first year of the age group her distance is sure to improve.

Victoria Shepherd put in another solid performance in the shot final, finishing seventh with a best putt of 11.92m behind New Zealand champ' Vicky Adams who won with 14.15m.

Robert Taylor also reached the last eight in the hammer finals, throwing the 7.25k hammer 47.35m to finish eighth behind Gateshead's Ross Thompson who won with 55.32m.

Ruth Dales just failed to make the final of the 100m hurdles, finishing ninth quickest in the semis after clocking 15.26 secs in fourth place behind Rachel Gibb of Middlesbrough and Cleveland who won in 14.57 secs.