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National Junior Womens League

Report by: Martin Cunnane

20th June 1999 - Robin Park Stadium, Wigan

Wakefield Harriers U20s women's squad made light of the wet and windy conditions in the second National Junior League Premier Division fixture of the season at Robin Park Stadium, Wigan.

Their efforts totally reversed the result of their opening league fixture which had seen them finish fifth. Putting on a fighting team display, Wakefield secured their first-ever division win by ten points over Sale with Wigan third.

Wakefield's super effort was spearheaded by sprint sensation Emily Freeman who followed up her stunning North of England senior sprint double by securing maximum points in both the A 100m and 200m, winning both in effortless style. She clocked 12 secs flat and 24.6 secs respectively.

Freeman was rewarded for her super sprint performances this season with the news that she had been selected to run for England U20s in Italy this month and looks sure to break into the very top flight in the next couple of seasons.

Ruth Dales also showed impressive hurdles form to set a new personal best 15.2 secs in winning the A 100m hurdles. Dales has taken time to come to through this season because of academic commitments, but now she has hit form and looks certain to come on in leaps and bounds.

Tara Wilson completed an A and B string sprint hurdles double by prevailing in the B 100m hurdles in 16.6 secs. Earlier she had finished sixth in the A 400m hurdles.

Northern senior long jump bronze medallist Fiona Westwood also collected maximum points in her favoured event, winning the A long jump by a comfortable margin with her best leap of 5.40m. She also finished second in the B 100m, clocking 12.8 secs behind Sale's L Evans who won in 12.4 secs.

Westwood is another athlete reaching full fitness after a steady start, and is sure to continue to give a good account of herself as the season progresses.

Victoria Shepherd kept the points total moving by winning the A shot with a good putt of 11.85m showing that her return to consistency is progressing nicely following knee surgery last year.

Laura Sheard clocked a season's best 5 mins 02.6 secs to finish third in the A 1500m behind R Everiti of Birchfield who won in 4 mins 52.2 secs.

Judith Payne added her usual maximum contribution, claiming winning points in the A high jump after seeing off the opposition with her day's best clearance of 1.65m.

And 16-year-old Jenny Handley repeated the feat in the A triple jump, winning with a good leap measured at 10.67m.

Clare Dunstan just failed to complete a triple jump double for the Harriers when she finished second in the B section, beaten by just 6cm with 9.81m by Gateshead's L Butler. Dunstan also finished second in the B hammer, fifth in the A discus and third in the B pole vault.

Michelle Lonsdale finished second in the A javelin with her day's best throw of 41.36m behind Liverpool's J Kemp who won with 45m. dead.

And Helen Taylor kept up her good hammer performances by finishing third in the A hammer with a 39.26m effort. She also finished fifth in the B discus.

Other team members were: Vikki Mills, Vicky Hobbs, Sarah Pretty, Helen Singleton, Becky Fender, Kerry Dobson, Alex Carr, Liz Martin, Becky Leach, Amy Ridsdale.