McDonald's Girls YA
Report by: Martin Cunnane
4th September 1999 - Northwood Stadium, Stoke
A catalogue of minor catastrophes scuppered Wakefield Harriers' McDonald's Girls' League National Auxiliary final hopes at the Northwood Stadium, Stoke-on Trent.
The Harriers' U17, U15 and U13 girls' squad, which had qualified for the auxillary final by finishing second in the Northern Premier Division League standings, had a disastrous start to the day.
Their coach transport failed to turn up due to a booking error leaving parents and officials no option but to ferry the team down in a convoy of cars.
Unfortunately, due to the delay, some of the field events were already under way when the athletes arrived, giving the Wakefield representatives no time for warm-up and run-up measurements et cetera.
On top of their transport problems, the team was again under-strength and, faced with some of the country's top young athletes, it was no surprise that Wakefield ended the day eighth and last on 235 points.
Bournemouth won with 319 points, ahead of Edinburgh WM 307.5, Basildon 300, Lagan Valley AC 274, Coventry Godiva 271, Solihull and Smallheath 268, and Wirral AC 260.5.
In the U13 girls' section, promising all-rounder Naida Bromley was outstanding. She scored Wakefield's only A string victory by soaring out to 4.69m in the long jump, beating Edinburgh WM's Nike Osifodunrin by 16cm.
Bromley also finished fourth in the A 70m hurdles where the Scottish youngster gained revenge with a half-second win in a speedy 11.87 secs.
Louise Shaw ran hard in both the A 75m and 150m sprints to finish third and fourth respectively in 10.67 secs and 20.83 secs, behind the UK's top ranked U13 sprinter Louise Dickson of Edinburgh, who set meeting best records in both events with times of 10.15 secs and 19.69 secs.
Emily Locker was the only other Wakefield athlete in the age group to earn a top-three finish. She gained third place points in the B 75m with 11.35 secs behind Edinburgh's Lesley-Ann Turner, who won in 11.12 secs.
The highlight for Wakefield in the U15 events was provided by Emily Mason and Amy Fozzard, who engineered a super A and B hurdles double.
Mason initiated the double with a hard-earned eight-hundredths of a second victory over Basildon's Somma Power in 12.30 secs, and Fozzard completed it with a comfortable win in the B competition where she clocked a speedy 12,14 secs, beating Edinburgh's Pamela Paterson by around five metres.
Mason just failed to complete a track and field A-string double when she finished second in the A high jump competition with her best clearance of 1.50m, just 3cm behind the winning effort of Sally Peake of Wirral.
Fozzard also added more valuable points by finishing fifth in the A shot with her best putt of 8.52m behind Wirral's Debbie Guile who won with 10.49m.
Olivia Smith just failed to collar Solihull's Lucy Davidson in the B 200m. Attacking hard all the way down the home straight, she eventually had to settle for second place just short of two tenths of a second down in 27.20 secs.
Kim Nalon was Wakefield's only other top-three finisher in the B high jump, where she claimed third place behind Basildon's Katie Flaherty who won with 1.59m.
In the U17 women's competitions, Becky Fender provided Wakefield's highest finish in the age group, running on solidly to collect second-place points in the B 800m behind Basildon's Kim Wall, who won in 2 mins 26.59. Fender also finished sixth in the B200m.
Katie Richardson had two third-place finishes in the A long jump with her best leap of 5.05m, just 12cm behind the winning effort of Cathy Wilson of Lagan Valley, and in the A shot where her 7.91m putt was 1.74m shy of Basildon's Shelly Moles' 10.65m winning effort. Richardson also added the points from fourth place in the A 100m to her personal contribution.
Other Wakefield team members: Amy Kirmond, Kate Shephard, Chloe Beckett, Abby Gowland, Ruth Jones, Kate Smith, Victoria Lockwood, Laura Robinson, Lucy Martin, Lisa Hall, Zoe Gowland, Carly Wright, Ruth Laybourn, Vicky Lambert, Hayley Atkinson, Helen Singleton, Aine Hoban, Amy Lloyd, Kirsty Hodson.