McDonald's Boys YA League
Report by: Martin Cunnane
Wakefield Harriers U17, U15 and U13 boys' squad had a satisfactory end to their McDonald's League season in Jarrow where a solid team performance from a side again short of athletes saw them finish in second place.
The Wakefield squad amassed 168 points behind Morpeth (214) with Elswick in third, just one point in front of North Shields (131). Wakefield's finish put them fourth overall in the 16-strong first division table and shows the commitment of the youngsters throughout the five match league programme where, they have toiled under the handicap of a shortage of numbers.
One of the stars of the day for the Harriers was U17 high jumper James Wild, whose winning clearance of 1.85m in the high jump brought him the overall McDonald's field athlete of the match award. Wild did not rest on his laurels, as he notched a good A string double by claiming maximum points in the A long jump, with a reasonable 5.84m leap, before just missing out on the treble, finishing second in the A 100m hurdles behind Morpeth's P Middleton who won in 14.8 secs.
Middle distance star Alex Senior was in superb form notching and A and B treble starting with an easy victory in the A 1500m, where he wasn't extended to put over seven seconds of daylight between himself and runner-up C Gifford of North Shields, crossing the line easing down in 4 mins 19.2 secs.
He went on to engineer a clever victory in the 1500m steeplechase sprinting clear to win on the last circuit to win by a similar margin in 4 mins 52.8 secs and then completed his valuable personal contribution by clearing 1.60m in the unfamiliar B high jump, to collect maximum number three at the expense of Morpeth's P CharIton.
Richard Markey recorded a personal best 58.5 secs to run right away from the field for a convincing victory in the B 400m and also finished second in the A shot providing much-needed points and ended his day with second in the B 800m recording 2 mins 20.8 secs behind North Shields M Gifford.
John Uridge again performed with great promise leaping to a personal best 12.15m to gain maximum points in the A triple jump and followed it up with a comfortable win in the B long jump before ending up with second in the B 200m in 24.7 secs.
Matt Young also showed good form after chasing home Morpeth's S Conolly in the A 200m, finishing second in 23.9 secs. He went on to collect maximum points in the B triple jump before ending his stint by notching a B string double claiming maximum number two in the discus.
Alan Ruddock, who after showing great promise at the Yorkshire championships has been plagued for most of the season with a troublesome back problem, turned out for the A 100m where he finished third. He also took second in the A discus before teaming up with Uridge, Young and Wild to help them finish second in the 4x100m relay behind Morpeth's polished sprint quartet who won in 45.9 secs.
There were also valuable efforts by Michael O'Connor who took first in the B hammer and third in the A 400m, and Steve Faulkner, who provided fourth in the B 100m, third in the A 800m and ended with second in the A hammer.
The Harriers' U15 section also worked hard led by their field event squad who provided a plethora of much-needed points.
Mark Lindsay showed up well again in his favoured event the javelin winning the A section by over seven metres with his day's best 42.54m. He then went on to demonstrate his all-round promise by capturing an A and B string double capturing maximum points in the B discus before ending with second place in the A shot.
Charles Handley also performed admirably starting with second in the B shot he was soon into winning ways claiming victory in the A discus with a useful 29m throw before completing the A and B double by repeating the dose in the A hammer, which he won by 4m from Morpeth's C Nelson with a day's best 27.13m.
First year U15 John Fletcher soared out to a personal best 5.41m in the A long jump but had to be content with second behind D West of Morpeth (5.63m), Fletcher also added the points from second spot in the B 200m and second in the A 100m to his personal contribution.
In the A 200m, Colin Mallett had to settle for second in 26.1 secs behind D Riley of Morpeth (24.7 secs). Mallett also finished second the A 100m, clocking 13.1 secs.
Owen Gibson made a winning start to the day, claiming maximum points in the B hammer before going on to finish a good second in the A 1500m, in 4 mins 57.7 secs and ended a hard day's schedule with fourth in the A 800m.
In the B 1500m, Russell Coulson made his debut in the club colours and was noted making good late progress to take second place in 5 mins 12.8 secs, while Justin Eastwood finished second in the B long jump competition.
Last but not least in the U15s, outstanding all rounder Martyn Bernard opened his account with victory in the high jump earned with a 1.70m clearance at the expense of Morpeth's D Riley (1.65m). Bernard then finished second in the A pole vault in his very first attempt at the discipline clearing 2.20m and also finished fourth in the A 400m.
Moving on to the U13s, lan Wainwright showed promise running on in determined fashion to pull away from Elswick's A Hunter and win by over 10 secs in 5 mins 22.6 secs. Alistair Lenighan also ran on sturdily to occupy second place at the finish of the 800m, clocking 2 mins 56.1 secs.
James Fox finished second in the 200m clocking 29.8 secs behind Morpeth's B Lavender who won in a quick 26.6 secs before coming up against another Morpeth speedster in the 100m, again finishing second in 14.9 secs behind A Thomson (12.9). Fox ended his exertions with 3rd in the shot.
Finally, Ry Lodge-Brown justified his team selection with a brave run in the B 1500m where he finished third, as well as finishing fourth in the B long jump. Christopher Brennan weighed in with third in the B shot and fourth in the B200m, while Gavin Morley also grabbed third in the A 800m, recording a promising personal best of 2 mins 48.4 secs as well as picking up fourth placed points in the B 100m.