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National Junior Womens League

Report by: Martin Cunnane

25th July 1999 - Gateshead Stadium

Michelle Lonsdale Wakefield Harriers' U20 women's squad carried on the highly successful season in competition by the women's section by registering a second consecutive victory in the penultimate Northern Premier fixture at Gateshead Stadium.

Wakefield, who won the event by 29 points from Liverpool now sit proudly at the top of the Northern Premier division.

With just one fixture left, they seem certain to qualify for the end of season play-offs, where the top four northern and southern teams play-off to find the national champions.

Judith Payne gave the Harriers the best possible start to the day's proceedings by collecting maximum points from the A high jump with her best clearance of 1.70m.

She then followed it up with victory in the B triple jump with a 10.28m leap. Payne almost made it a treble in the unfamiliar pole vault but had to be content with second, after clearing 2.00m, 10cm down on winner Kate Geoghan of Sale.

Michelle Lonsdale enjoyed a comfortable victory over Border's C Wallbank in the A javelin, having a 5m cushion over the runner-up with her day's best effort 39.21m. Lonsdale also notched and A and B string double, collecting maximum points in the B hammer with a creditable 26.85m effort.

Fiona Westwood continues to give a good account of herself winning the A long jump with a 5.55m leap which saw her home 12cms clear of Birchfield's D Andrews. Westwood added the points from fifth place in the A 100m, clocking 12.9 secs behind Gateshead's Vicky Barr (12.4 sees) and the Wakefield athlete ended her individual contribution with sixth place in the A 200m, where she recorded 26.8 secs.

Wakefield also got good service from Ruth Dales, who continued her steady improvement in her favoured event, the 100m hurdles by engineering a close verdict over Border's A Rutter, winning by a tenth of a second in 15.5 secs.

Dales also finished third in the B 100m clocking 12.9 secs, just 3/10ths of a second behind L Troman of Trafford AC.

Elsewhere, 16-year-old Kate Richardson justified her team selection by completing an A and B double in the long jump, emulating A string winner Westwood by capturing maximum points in the B event with a 5.02m leap, before finishing a creditable sixth in the B 200m.

Another 16-year-old, Becky Fender, also performed admirably against older opponents in the A 800m where she ran on strongly to pass Liverpool's J Shorthall close to home to finish second in a personal best 2 mins 21.2 secs. She was just 3/10ths of a second behind the winner D Hock of Wigan.

Fender also ran well in the B 400m, recording another personal best of 62.8 secs, to finish fourth behind Wigan's A Glyrin who clocked 61.4 secs.

Helen Taylor threw a personal best 43.05m in the A hammer, finishing over 3 metres behind Northern Junior champ Vicky Scott of Liverpool. The Wakefield thrower has made good progress this year and looks capable of even better next year. Taylor also provided the points from fourth in the B discus.

Victoria Shepherd just failed to beat S Richards of Birchfield in the A shot putt, having to settle for second with her best putt of 11.50m. The Wakefield athlete also made a rare appearance in the discus, where she finished sixth in the A event.

Other Wakefield team members were: Becky Leach, Alex Carr, Tara Wilson, Amy Ridsdale, Kerry Dobson, Jenny Handley, Vicky Mills, Aine Hoban and Laura Sheard.