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McDonald's Boys YA League

Report by: Martin Cunnane

6th June 1999 - Thornes Park Stadium, Wakefield

Alan Ruddock

Wakefield Harriers' U17, U15 and U13 boys team put up a good show in their McDonald's Young Athletes League Match held at Thornes Park and despite being desperately short of athletes, still managed to finish in second place.

The Harriers team finished 21 points behind winners Scunthorpe (171), with Blackhill Bounders third with 133 points and Grimsby fourth with just 100.

Wakefield's best showing came form the U15 representatives who dominated their section of the competition scoring a bag full of valuable points with some tremendous individual efforts.

Improving sprinter Colin Mallett racked up a notable A string treble opening with a win in the A 200m, beating Scunthorpe's Matthew Rooke by a clear 5m margin in 26.1 secs. Mallet followed this by taking maximum points in the A 400m clocking 60.8s and completing the treble with a comfortable win in the A 100m.

John Fletcher cemented Wakefield's first A and B string double of the day, by collecting maximum points in the B 200m, crossing the line first in 27.5s and then finishing second in the A long jump before ending a productive day by winning the B high jump.

In the A high jump, Yorkshire U15 champ Martyn Bernard prevailed by a 15cm margin winning with his best clearance of 1.70m and then added to Wakefield's successes in the age group winning the B hammer.

Charles Handley also demonstrated his worth by notching a treble initiated with a comfortable victory in the A hammer, which he won with a day's best 28.46m. Handley kept up the good work in the A javelin, winning with a 28.32m effort and ended a highly successful day with win number three in the A discus (26.48m).

Owen Gibson made his first outing in club colours a winning one, picking up maximum points in the B 100m, his efforts made all the more creditable with the knowledge his victory was gained after runs in the A 800m and 1500m where he finished second in both. He ended his tiring but productive day by helping the U15 sprint quartet to relay victory over Blackhill Bounders and Scunthorpe in the 4x100m.

Finally in the U15s, Justin Eastwood registered his first McDonald's League win, taking maximum points in the B long jump and then went on to complete a track and field double with a win in the B 1500m and he looks certain to continue the upgrade.

In the U17s section, Alex Senior scored a runaway victory in the 1500m galloping home almost 200m clear of Blackhill Bounders' Andrew McDonald in 4mins 21.4s and Paul Lockwood was no less convincing in the B 1500m also winning by a wide margin in a highly respectable 4 mins 24.7seconds.

Steve Faulkner kept up his run of improved form by leading throughout to register a comfortable victory in the A 800m, beating Scunthorpe's S Borrill by around 20m in 2m 10.9s.

Michael Walker again put in an improved display in the A 3000m, leading from the gun to win by the proverbial street length in 10mins 06.5s. Walker is progressing nicely and can continue to improve over the longer distances.

Another who looks capable of improving is Michael O'Connor who provided valuable points in the A 400m which he won comfortably in 56.9 secs from Sean McGarry who was second in 57.3 secs.

In the 200m Matthew Young just back from holiday shook off the cobwebs with another promising performance finishing 4/10ths of a second runner-up in the A 200m to Scunthorpe's Andrew McCullough who won in 23.6 secs. Young went on to finish second in the B long jump before ending his day helping John Uridge, Alan Ruddock and Michael Wright to victory in the sprint relay.

Ruddock, who was also just back off holiday, coasted to an easy win in the B 200m, recording 25.1s easing down, and went on to finish third in the A 100m in 12.0s before ending his contribution with a win in the B triple jump.

John Uridge continues to give a good account of himself, first winning the B 100m in 12.5 secs, before finishing second in the triple jump with a personal best leap of 11.80m.

Uridge also finished second in the A long jump with a very reasonable effort of 5.64m and with both Uridge and team mate Ruddock having another year in the age group, Wakefield are sure to be well represented in the age group at sprint distances next season.

Wakefield had a tough time in the U13 section, with only a handful of athletes representing them. lan Wainwright showed promise in the A 1500m which he won from Blackhill Bounders Nathan Reed, in 5mins 31.2 secs.

Other pleasing performances came from Ry Lodge-Brown, second in the B 100m, Gavin Morley second in the B 1500m, Alistair Lenighan who was second in the B long jump and Mark McClellan, third in the A 800m. James Fox had an off-day in the sprints, but finished second in the A shot competition.