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McDonald's Boys YA League

Report by: Martin Cunnane

27th June 1999 - Huntington Stadium, York

Torrential rain and unseasonably cold conditions at the Huntington Stadium, York, for the penultimate McDonald's Young Athletes League boys' first division meet failed to deter Wakefield Harriers athletes from putting in a string of topnotch performances.

Wakefield's combined U17,15 and 13 boys' squad was yet again dogged by a shortage of athletes, but the quality of the performers on duty shone through and a plethora of super individual efforts saw the Harriers end the day as narrow two point victors over Hull Springhead - 187points to 185points. Host club Nestle Rowntrees AC finished third on 155 points and Blaydon were fourth after amassing just 99 points.

Wakefield's fine crop of U17 athletes led the way, setting more than a few personal bests throughout the day's competitions.

Matthew Young kept up his purple patch of impressive sprint performances by baring from the blocks at the gun in the A 200m to hold a narrow lead over Humberside's sprint champ' Graeme Danby entering the home straight. Young kept going for all he was worth but was just hauled in by the Hull Springhead representative close home, eventually having to settle for second. He was beaten by just two tenths of a second in a personal best 23.5 secs - a AAA Grade 2 performance that earned Young the overall McDonald's Track Athlete of the Match award.

Young went on to run the same athlete even closer in the A 100m, just being beaten on the dip for a second runners-up berth by a single tenth of a second in 12.1 secs. Young ended a productive day by winning the B triple jump with his best effort of 10.12m.

Top points scorer on the day also fell to an U 17 athlete, Danny Cunnane, who scored an impressive Astring field treble.

He started with a personal best 49.63m effort in the A hammer - a AAA Grade 2 distance - that saw him collect maximum points by a massive 28 metre margin.

Cunnane went on to complete the treble by picking up maximums in both the A discus and the javelin competitions as well as teaming up with Young, Alex Senior and John Uridge to help them to a comfortable victory in the 4x100m relay.

Earlier, one of the sprint relay runners, Alex Senior, had led from gun to tape in the A 800m, leaving Hull Springhead's Jason Mills in his wake as he galloped to a comfortable four-second victory in a more than useful time of 2 mins 00.4 secs.

James Wild was another A string winner for the Harriers, claiming maximum points in the high jump with his best clearance of 1.80m before going on to complete a great A string double by winning the long jump with his day's best leap of 5.78m. Wild also provided the points from third place in the B javelin.

John Uridge also played his part well, starting with a narrow victory in the B 100m after just getting the better of Rowntrees' Dave Watson on the dip for the tape. He eventually got the nod from the judges with both athletes being awarded identical times of 12.6 secs.

Uridge cemented a B string double by claiming maximum points in the B long jump with his day's best leap of 5.45m. He failed by just 21cm to make it a treble when he finished runner-up to Hallamshire's P Greenwood in the A triple jump with a best effort of 11.20m.

Michael Walker weighed in with second place in the A 1500m, recording 4 mins 24.8 secs, and he also finished second in the unfamiliar B shot.

Steve Faulkner also played his part with second places in both the A 1500m steeplechase (5 mins 00.6 secs) and the B 1500m flat as well as winning the B hammer to further bolster Wakefield's points total.

Richard Markey put in his best efforts of the season, clocking a pb 2 mins 13.6 secs to finish an under-a-second runner-up to Rowntrees' Matt Garland in the B 800m, and also supplied the points from second in the B discus.

Star of the show in the U15s' section of the McDonald's Youth Athletes League meet was Wakefield's Mark Lindsay.

Lindsay made up for the disappointment of failing to qualify for the English Schools finals because of a holiday by throwing in excess of the AAA Grade 1 standard to win the A javelin by almost 16 metres. His day's best throw was measured at 44.92m and earned him the overall McDonald's field athlete of the match award.

He went on to further demonstrate his potential by completing an A-string double with a fine win in the shot, gained with his best putt of 11.36m and was denied the treble by Blaydon's Darren Denham, who beat him into second place in the A discus, winning by just short of three metres with his second round throw of 30.09m.

Martin Bernard kept up Wakefield's momentum, winning the A high jump with his best clearance of 1.70m. Bernard followed up by winning the A 400m in 58.3 secs to claim a notable track and field double. He ended his individual contribution with a victory in the B shot, earned with a 9.76m putt.

Colin Mallett also made significant contributions starting with an easy victory in the A 200m over Rowntrees' Paul Watson. He followed up with second place in the A 100m and ended his day's individual exertions with a victory in the B 400m where he beat Blaydon's Anthony Dodds by a wide margin in 60.2 secs.

Last year's Yorkshire U13 sprint champion John Fletcher showed he is coping well in his first year of the U15 age group by seeing off Rowntrees' Nick Waller by five metres in the B 200m, clocking 26.1 secs. He then took maximum points from the A long jump with leap of 5.24m.

Fletcher ended his day with second place in the B 100m, beaten by just two tenths of a second by Hull Springhead's Jack Boardman in 13.5 secs.

Owen Gibson showed promise in the A 1500m running on solidly to finish second in 5 mins 11.0 secs. He also finished fourth in the A 800m and second in the B section of the unfamiliar hammer.

Justin Eastwood kept on bravely to pick up swordplace points in the B 1500m as well as finishing in the same position in the B long jump.

Charles Handley provided his usual clutch of valuable points, turning out in the inhospitable conditions despite suffering a heavy cold. Handley won both the B javelin and discus competitions as well as finishing second in the A hammer competition.

In the U13s' section, James Fox worked a hard earned victory over Hull's Rick Herdsman in the A 1 00m, winning by a tenth of a second in 15.2 secs after a thrilling duet. Fox also finished second in the A 200m.

Ian Wainwright ensured an A and B 100m double by taking maximum points in the B 100m, and went on to complete an outstanding personal double by winning the A 1500m. Running steadily for the first three laps he moved up 30 metres over the last 200 metres to make his challenge and proved too strong for Rowntrees' Chris Hodgson. Wainwright went on to win comfortably in 5 mins 24.5 secs.

Alistair Lenighan was noted staying on well to take second place in the A 800m in 2 mins 45.7secs before going on to fill the same spot in the A long jump with his day's best of 4.08m.

Gavin Morley finished second in the B long jump but went one better in the B 800m, finishing fastest of all to win going away in 2 mins 52.4 secs.

And Stephen Brennan filled third place in the B 200m and also finished third in the B shot.