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McDonald's Girls YA League

Report by: Martin Cunnane

18th July 1999 - Princess Mary Stadium, Cleckheaton

A determined tri-team effort in the final McDonald's Girls' League match of the year ensured Wakefield Harriers achieved their season's objective of qualifying for the league finals at Stoke in September for the fourth year in succession.

The meet, for U17, U15 and U13 athletes, was held at the Princess Mary Stadium, Cleckheaton. Wakefield finished third on the day and consolidated second spot in the Premier Division 2 table.

Wakefield, who were again short of athletes on the day, performed admirably to end the match third on 317 points behind Sale and Hull Springhead who scored 398 and 328 respectively. Gateshead were fourth on 282, host club Spenborough fifth on 223, Tynedale Harriers sixth with 204, Hallamshire seventh with 153 and Oldham and Royston eighth having amassed a modest 107 points.

The young Harriers' efforts earned them a place in the McDonald's Auxiliary Final which will he held at Northwood Stadium on Saturday 4th September.

Improving U17 hurdler Kirsty Hodson again played a major part, notching a sparkling A and B double. First she won the A 300m hurdles in 48.5 secs after holding off Sale's L Murphy by two tenths of a second. Then, she collected maximum no 2 in winning the B 80m hurdles by the same margin in a pb 13.2 secs. Hodson just failed to complete a treble when she was beaten into second place in the B shot by Tynedale's Nicky Teal.

Also in the U17s, Katie Richardson advertised her value to the team by opening her account with a surprise victory in the unfamiliar shot. She came away with maximum points from the A competition after beating Hallamshire's J Harrison by almost half a metre with her winning putt of 8.41m.

Richardson followed up with second place in the A 100m three tenths of a second behind Hull's K Rhea,, who won in 12.9 secs before ending her individual contribution with second place in the A long jump with 5.10m, just 9cm behind the winning effort of Nicky Cahill of Sale.

Aine Hoban chased Sale's L Whittaker all the way from the gun in the A 3000m but just failed to match her finishing speed and had to settle for second just three seconds adrift at the line in a respectable 10 mins 54.1 secs.

And Becky Fender also finished second in the A 300m, clocking 44.4 secs, half a second behind Sale's L Murphy. Fender went on to finish third in both the A 200m and 800m races.

Fender has made steady progress this season after two years of injury and illness and her results of late have shown great promise which augers well for next season's entry to the junior ranks.

In the U15s, Wakefield provided a plethora of points to keep the team in the hunt for league honours.

Emily Mason headed the Harriers' first of only two A and B string doubles on the day. She won the A high jump by 3cm with her day's best clearance of 1.50m and Kimberley Nallon completed the double by taking maximum points from the B event with her day's best effort of 1.45m. Nallon also finished fourth in the A javelin to further increase her contribution.

Victoria Lockwood showed good all-round form by sprinting to victory in the B100m, beating Gateshead's L Rudkin by over a metre in 13.4 secs as well as providing the points from fourth place in the B shot and fifth in the B 70m hurdles.

Katie Smith just failed to get on terms with the front two in the hotly contested A 100m, finishing a gallant third in 13.1 secs behind Sale's T Ameari who recorded a super fast 12.7 secs. Smith also finished fifth in the A 200m.

Olivia Smith impressed in the B 200m, scorching round the bend to register her best run of the season, cantering to victory by around five metres in 27 secs flat. And with Olivia and Katie Smith (unrelated), along with Laura Robinson, who was unavailable for the match, all being in the first year of the U15 age group, Wakefield will have an awesome sprint line up for next year's competitions.

West Yorkshire individual U15 league leader Ruth Laybourne supplied valuable points from a win in the B javelin and second place in the B long jump, earned with a solid 4.84m effort. She finished off with fourth place in the A shot.

In the A string long jump, Vicky Lambert soared out to an impressive 5.14m but had to be content with second place just 2cm behind Sale's Victoria Lamb. Lambert also finished fourth in the B discus competition.

First-year U15 Amy Fozzard just failed to collect maximum points in the A 75m hurdles. After hurdling well she finished just two tenths of a second runner-up to Sale's B Walls in a promising 12.2 secs.

Fozzard also supplied the points from fourth place in the A discus and thus continues to make satisfactory progress.

Carly Wright made short work of her opponents in the B 1500m. Keeping on strongly, she beat Gateshead's Rebecca Forrest by an eight-second margin in 5 mins 11.6 secs. She too continues to improve.

In the U13s section, Naida Bromley was again in outstanding form. She opened her account for the day with a prodigious leap that was measured at 4.62m to beat Tyneside long jump champion F Jamuda by 6cm.

Bromley kept on in the same vein, in the 70m hurdles where she cleared the obstacles skilfully to outsprint Sale's C Wilson on the run-in to win by a tenth in 12.4 secs.

Team-mate Ruth Jones secured Wakefield's second A and B string double of the day by collecting maximum points in the B section, beating Sale's C Halpin by a metre in 14.5 secs. She also provided fourth-place points from the B shot competition.

In the sprints, Louise Shaw was just touched off by Sale's Nicola Parsons in the A 75m, beaten by a tenth of a second in 10.5 secs after an exciting tussle.

It was the same story in the 150m where, despite challenging all the way to the line, Parsons again had a tenth in hand over the Wakefield youngster at the line, completing in a speedy sprint double 20.7 secs.

Other Wakefield team members: Katie Shepherd, Chloe Beckett, Lisa Hall, Lucy Martin, Emily Locker, Kim Tetley, Zoe Gowland.