Wakefield District Harriers & AC
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Wakefield's fast-improving squads picked up the lion's share of the medals on offer despite top-quality opposition.
The high point of the afternoon for the large crowd was a rare home outing for Wakefield's fifth-placed Commonwealth Games heptathlete Kerry Jury, who entertained with a fluid display of sprint hurdling as well as running away with the 200m final.
Jury opened her seasonal account with a comfortable victory in the senior women's 100m hurdles, clocking a highly respectable 14 secs flat to see off Leeds City's junior international Danielle Freeman by a comfortable six-metre margin.
Jury racked up win no 2 in the 200m final, beating Barnsley's promising junior all-rounder Fiona Harrison, daughter of former Wakefield, Yorkshire and England RU captain Mike Harrison, by eight tenths of a second in 24.6 secs.
Harrison gained revenge in the long jump which she won by a single centimetre from Freeman and Jury with her day's best effort of 5.55m.
Jury finished her busy day's service with second place behind Wakefield junior teammate Victoria Shepherd in the shot competition.
Shepherd, who underwent surgery last season on a troublesome knee problem, won with a promising seasonal debut putt of 11.97m with Jury second on 10.99m. Amanda Sheppard ensured a Harriers cleansweep of the major placings with third from a best on-the-day putt of 10.97m.
Sheppard also finished third in the hammer, seven metres behind veteran team-mate Jenny Cunnane, whose 40.48m effort saw her finish just under two metres behind Hull Spartan's Diane Smith, who claimed the gold medal with 42.35m.
In the javelin, Wakefield's North of England silver medallist Becky Foster finished runner-up to Coventry's Cath Evans with a 40.22m throw.
All the senior womens' performances bode well for the coming season with Wakefield's main objective being promotion from the UK Women's League second division. Achieving this goal would see the club entering the new millennium by competing in the top echelon in the first division.
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Senior took the race head on from the start, and forcing the pace, soon has his opponents struggling. A further injection of pace on the back straight put the issue beyond doubt, finishing a full 30 metres clear of Spenborough's quality cross country runner Mark Carter with the third place athlete, T Myzak of Holmfirth a full 100 metres behind at the finish. Senior's winning time was a pb 2 mins 0.7 secs. And on this sort of form he looks a solid bet for Yorkshire honours at Spenborough.
Jonathan Shearn had to pull out all the stops in the 100m final to deny his year younger club mate Alan Ruddock. He got the verdict by the thickness of a vest in a desperately close finish, both athletes were allotted identical pb times of 11.8 secs.
Ruddock, a triple medallist at U15 level in last year's county championships where he won 100m, 200m and long jump titles, also finished runner up to Parkside's Matthew Clay in the long jump.
Shearn went on to battle again in the 200m, this time snatching a narrow victory over another Wakefield club-mate Matthew Young, with both athletes recording identical times of 24.2 secs.
James Wild collected gold in the high jump, winning with a modest-for-him clearance of 1.75m. He also finished third in the long jump with 5.56m and is another who looks a banker for county honours in his favoured event, the high jump.
In the U15s competition, Martyn Bernard showed good early season form to triumph in the high jump at the expense of Scunthorpe's Edward Trewick, as well as being beaten for finishing speed in the 800m where, after leading for most of the race, he was pipped on the line by Skyrac's Graham, Powell in 2 mins 24.4 secs.
First-year U15 John Fletcher also showed good form, picking up first prize in the long jump which he won with a leap of 5.05m before going on to collect silver medals behind Barnsley's Luke Hammer in both the 100m and 200m finals, with both atletes clocking 12.7 secs for the 100m, and in the 200m, Hamer winning in 25.5 secs with Fletcher coming home in 26.1 secs.
Wakefield provided just one medallist in the U13 competitions, James Fox, who after making two other finals without gaining a medal, was rewarded for his consistency by taking bronze in the shot. He finished third behind Andrew Staniland of Skyrac and S.Harwood of Rotherham with his best putt of 6.73m.
In the U11s section Chris Lockwood finished a closeup third in the long jump, registering 3.42m, behind Scunthorpe's S.Feasey and R.Watts of Hull Springhead, who finished first and second with respective jumps of 3.51m and 3.50m. James Richardson also collected bronze in the shot with his day's best putt being measured at 5.35m behind S.Render of Scunthorpe who won with 6.47m.
Junior thrower Robert Taylor set a new pb for the second time in a week, following up his 50-metre throw in the previous weekend's Manchester Hammer School Spring Open Championships, with another pb of 52.93m to beat Rotherham's G.Windscombe by a wide margin.
In the senior men's events, junior specialist javelin thrower Chris Hughff showed he is no slouch on the track by carrying off the 200m silver medal in 24.9 secs behind Mandale's Alex Golding, who won in 23.3 secs.
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Hayleigh Atkinson underlined her potential with a comfortable win in the 100m, sprinting home with four metres to spare over R.Lawson of City of Hull in 13.4 secs.
She went on to fill third spot in the 200m where Lawson turned the tables to win in 27.6 secs from Wakefield's Katie Richardson, who finished second in 28.2 secs.
Richardson went on to get on the winners' rostrum in the long jump, prevailing by 10cm with her best jump of 4.68m over club-mate Amy Lloyd, who also finished second in the 80m hurdles final behind Leeds City's T Lloyd in 13.2 secs.
Wakefield's domination of the female events continued with a clean sweep of the major placings in the high jump, won by Jenny Handley with her best clearance of 1.62m. Amy Lloyd picked up her third silver medal of the day in second place. Kim Tetley completed the job with third overall. '
In the 800m, Becky Fender continued her promising start to the season with a hard-earned victory over Skyrac's Sarah Leigh, winning by a second in 2 mins 24.9 secs with club-mate Aine Hoban running on strongly over the last 200m after a conservative start to claim third place in a pb 2 mins 26.4 secs.
There was no respite for the opposition in the U15 girls' section where Laura Robinson started the ball rolling with a much-improved run in the 100m, sprinting powerfully in the final to engineer a first win over team-mate Victoria Lockwood. Another Wakefield youngster, Katie Smith, completed yet another Harriers' cleansweep by taking third in an exciting blanket finish.
Robinson and Lockwood were allotted the same time of 13 secs with Robinson gaining the judges' verdict. Smith recorded a pb of 13.1 secs.
Robinson also clocked a pb 27.4 secs in the 200m, but her hopes of a sprint double were thwarted by Barnsley's Leah Dunkley whose speedy 26.7 secs final run pushed the Wakefield youngster back into second place with Katie Smith again running well to finish third in a pb 28.1 secs.
Emily Mason overcame City of Hull's Stacy Flint in the 75m hurdles after an extended struggle, prevailing at the line by just a tenth of a second in 12.3 secs. Last year's top Yorkshire all-rounder club-mate Amy Fozzard took third in 12.7 secs.
Mason went on to notch a notable track and field double, heading yet another cleansweep of the medal places for Wakefield in the high jump where she cleared a pb 1.57m to win from club-mates Kimberley Nallon and Rebecca Swaine who jumped 1.45m and 1.35m respectively.
Ruth Laybourn weighed in with a comfortable victory in the long jump, collecting the gold medal with a 4.85m effort from club-mate Amy Fozzard who claimed second with her day's best leap of 4.52m.
Zoe Gowland and Carly Wright made the year older Sarah Holah of Pudsey and Bramley pull out all the stops to deny them in the 800m. Gowland finished just under two seconds behind Holah in second place in a pb 2 mins 27.3 secs, with Wright also setting a new pb of 2 mins 29.9 secs for third.
In the U13s competition, Louise Shaw put in another fine effort to win the 100m by a wide margin in 13.6 secs from Barnsley's E.Clark. She must now be one of the favourites to lift the Yorkshire sprint title at Spenborough next weekend.
In the 200m, however, Shaw was denied the double by Wakefield clubmate Naida Bromley whose powerful finished carried the day with a win by a couple of metres in 28.1 secs. Shaw claimed second in 28.3 secs.
Bromley went on to destroy the sprint hurdles field, bounding home well clear in a speedy 12.2 secs before ending the day claiming second place in the high jump with a 1.40m clearance.
In the U11 girls section Jaydene Wright again put in a tremendous performance in the 600m, following up her win in last week's corresponding race in the West Yorkshire League fixture at York.
Using the same frontrunning tactics, her powerful first lap running soon had the rest of the field struggling and, continuing strongly, she won by over five metres in a pb 2 mins 02.6 secs from East Cheshire Harrier's Katie Birtwistle, with Helen Bray of Barnsley a further ten metres adrift in third.
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