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West Yorkshire Schools AA Championships 1999

Report by: Martin Cunnane

12th June - Princess Mary Stadium, Cleckheaton

Track Events Report                Field Events Report

Track Report

A myriad of title-winning performances were picked up by Wakefield Harriers athletes in the West Yorkshire Schools Athletics Championships held at the Princess Mary Stadium, Cleckheaton. The athletes were representing schools from Wakefield, Kirklees, Bradford and Leeds.

In the sprints, Victoria Lockwood won heat two of the U15 girls' 100m by two tenths of a second from club-mate Katie Smith with both girls qualifying for the final.

In the final, the year younger Smith turned the tables on Lockwood, flying from the blocks to establish an early lead that she held comfortably to the line, winning by a tenth of a second from Lockwood in 13.3 secs.

In the senior girls 100m final, dual Northern junior sprint champ' Emily Freeman made short work of her out-of-sorts clubmate Emma Phillips, winning by around five metres. She also set a new championship record of 12.2 secs and qualified for this month's English Schools finals in the process.

In the junior girls 200m, Linda Jowett won heat one in 28.8 secs while Laura Robinson took heat two in a speedy 27.1 secs after an extended battle with Spenborough's Rachael Gobbi, who was representing Kirklees Schools. In the final, Gobbi stayed on well to reverse the earlier defeat by Robinson, beating the Wakefield girl by two tenths in 27.3 secs with Jowett claiming fourth in 29.4 secs.

Yorkshire 200m champ' Jonathan Shearn qualified comfortably for the intermediate boys 200m final, winning his heat in 24.7 secs. But in the final he found Leeds City's I Speake just too good for him on the day and he had to settle for the runners up spot, beaten by three tenths of a second in 24.3 secs.

In the junior girls 800m, club-mates Louise Hall and Lisa Martin finished third and fourth respectively in 2 mins 31.7 secs and 2 mins 32.9 secs behind Pudsey and Bramley's Sarah Holah, representing Leeds Schools. Holah won in 2 mins 20.8 secs.

Kerry Dobson finished fourth in the senior girls' 400m, recording 64.4 secs behind A Freeman of Kirklees Schools, who won in 60.9 secs.

In the intermediate boys' 800m, both Alex Senior and Steve Faulkner qualified comfortably for the final after winning their respective heats in 2 mins 02.0 secs and 2 mins 12.4 secs. In the final, Senior forced the pace from the off and was rewarded for his hard work with a five metre victory over S Manning, representing Leeds Schools, with the year younger Faulkner setting a new pb of 2 mins 04.7 secs for a fourth-place finish.

Zoe Gowland also performed well against older opposition in the junior girls' 3000m final where she chased home her Leeds Schools team-mate Emily Spencer to finish a creditable second in 5 mins 06.2 secs. Spencer won in 4 mins 54.6 secs.

Harriers-based duo Paul Lockwood and Michael Walker found Leeds representative Robert Spencer just too strong for them in the inter boys 1500m final, Lockwood finishing runner up in 4 mins 24 secs flat with Walker third in 4 mins 28.2 secs. Spencer won in 4 mins 16.7 secs.

Laura Sheard added the West Yorkshire Schools senior girls' 1500m title to the Yorkshire U20s title she won back in May at the same venue. Keeping on solidly, she beat Calderdale's Nicola Parsons by eight seconds in 5 mins 4.8 secs.

Kirsty Hodson finished third in the inter girls' 300m hurdles final, recording 48.4 secs behind Annette Shaw of Calderdale who won in 47.7 secs.

Ruth Dales ploughed a lonely furrow over the 100m hurdles course. Running against the clock without the aid of fellow competitors, she recorded 16.0 secs in the 100m hurdles final and was rewarded with a place in the Schools finals by virtue of her many previous good hurdles performances.

Aine Hoban put in another encouraging performance in the inter girls' 3000m final, winning by a massive margin in 10 mins 39.9 secs. She also takes her place in the Schools finals and looks certain to continue on the up-grade.

Mark Ainsworth won the senior boys' 400m comfortably in 52.3 secs.

Field Report

Martyn Bernard
An outstanding performance by Martyn Bernard spearheaded Wakefield Harriers' title challenge in the field events at the West Yorkshire Schools championships.

Bernard broke the long standing championship record for the junior high jump with his winning clearance in the final of 1.79m. On this sort of form he looks certain to be in the medal hunt at the national finals later this month.

Emily Mason also put in a super effort, qualifying for the finals with her winning effort of 1.58m. She continues to show terrific all-round ability.

Alex Carr claimed second in the senior girls' high jump final despite missing training for most of the season through academic commitments.

James Wild, just back from injury, was disappointed with his second place jump of 1.82m in the inter boys' high jump final. He was beaten by three centimetres by Leeds Schools' A Macfarlane, but is sure to be back at his best in the near future.

Kimberley Tetley was also disappointed with her fourth place in the corresponding inter girls final behind L West of Calderdale.

In the long jumps, Ruth Laybourne qualified for the English Schools junior girls' long jump final, winning the West Yorkshire Schools crown with her day's best leap of 5.00m. Club-mates Vicky Lambert and Rebecca Swaine finished second and fourth with respective jumps of 4.63m and 4.25m.

John Fletcher collected the junior boys' long jump title with a pb 5.35m.

Fiona Westwood kept up the good work for the Harriers-based athletes by collecting the senior girls' long jump title with her best effort of 5.44m. She too gained selection for the English Schools finals.

Jenny Handley set a new championship record in the inter girls triple jump final, soaring out to a pb 11.02m to win by a wide margin. It was also a new club record into the bargain. She will also fly the Wakefield flag in the English finals.

In the throws, Natalie Jackson took the senior girls' shot title with a pb 11.69m and with just a little improvement could secure a medal in the national schools finals.

Charles Handley finished second in the junior boys' discus with a personal best 32.86m throw, and with another year in the age group looks sure to be favourite for next year's schools' championships.

Another long standing championship record fell to Wakefield's Michelle Lonsdale who launched the javelin to 41.31m to win the senior girls' javelin title. She qualified for her fourth consecutive English Schools title shot, and looks certain to be there in the hunt for medals.

Danny Cunnane won the inter boys' hammer with his day's best throw of 46.94m, while older brother Thomas found Bingley's Sam Broadley just too good for him in the senior boys' hammer. Thomas Cunnane finished second, just under three metres behind with his day's best throw of 46.96m.

Other good Wakefield Schools team performances:

E Williams - 3rd junior girls discus with 23.76m
Lee Corr - 1st inter boys javelin, 39.05m
S Booth - 1st senior boys high jump, 1.92m
Richard Shawcross - 1st inter boys long jump 6.25m
S Seckam - 1st inter boys triple jump 12.26m
L Sooltan - 3rd inter girls 200m 28.8 secs
T Vanhille - 4th inter boys 200m 24.7 secs
Matthew Morton - 1st junior boys 200m, 24.9 secs
R Nowak - 2nd junior boys 80m hurdles 14.0 secs
J Briggs - 2nd inter boys 100m hurdles, 16.1 secs

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