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West Yorkshire Track & Field League

Report by: Martin Cunnane

5th May 1999 - Thornes Park, Wakefield

Wakefield Harriers women's section took full advantage of their home venue to overpower their West Yorkshire Track and Field League rivals and strengthen their already seemingly unassailable lead at the top of the table. Wakefield's women have occupied top slot in the WYTFL for the last six years.

Newly-crowned Yorkshire U20 1500m champ' Laura Sheard had no problem stepping up an age group in the senior women's 1500m. Travelling well within herself throughout, she was not extended to put ten seconds of daylight between herself and the runner up, J Whitley of Skyrac. She finished unchallenged in 5 mins 04.9 secs.

In the 200m, Janet Robinson, who has returned to athletics after almost 12 years, scored her first West Yorkshire League points. Running on well, she placed fourth in 28.4 secs behind Bingley's Nicole Crosby. Robinson (nee Wyard), the sister of Wakefield women's team captain Elaine Sutcliffe, still holds the West Yorkshire League record over 400m, and looks set to improve as race fitness returns.

With no throwing events set for the night's competition, veteran performer Jenny Cunnane turned her attention to the high jump and did well to finish third overall behind Leeds City's O35 vet' Helen Barker, with junior club-mate Vikki Mills also getting into the scoring for Wakefield in sixth.

In the U17 women's section Becky Fender continued her run of improved form. Leading from the off, she galloped the opposition into submission in the 800m to win by almost ten metres in a respectable 2 mins 24.7 secs from H Grinstead. Wakefield team-mate Aine Hoban ran on strongly after failing to go with the early pace to finish fourth in 2 mins 27.7 secs.

Katie Richardson finished three tenths of a second behind 13.5 secs winner L Womersley of Skyrac in the U17 women's 100m, where Hayley Atkinson, Jenny Handley and Kirsty Hodson claimed third, fifth and sixth places respectively. Richardson made up for the disappointment by winning the shot competition with her best putt of 8.31m with Hodson again making the points in third. Amy Lloyd finished fifth and Atkinson added the point for sixth overall.

In the U15 girls' section, Laura Robinson engineered a narrow victory in the 100m over team-mate Katie Smith, winning by a tenth of a second in 13.2 secs. The duo headed a Wakefield domination of the event with Ruth Laybourn third in 13.5 secs, Vicky Lockwood fourth in 13.6 secs and Vicky Lambert sixth in 13.9 secs to give the Harriers five out the six scoring places.

Laybourn went on to score an impressive victory in the shot competition, winning with her best putt of 9.20m from Rachel Wolstenholme of Bradford Airedale who claimed second with 8.73m. Amy Fozzard took the point for sixth overall with a putt of 7.05m.

In the 800m, won in 2 mins 22.8 secs by Sarah Holah of Pudsey and Bramley, Wakefield's Zoe Gowland finished a good third in 2 mins 26.3 secs and Carly Wright was sixth in 2 mins 31.6 secs. Both youngsters have another year in the age group.

Wakefield also dominated the U13 girls' events starting with a one-two in the 80m. Louise Shaw just got the nod from the judges over club-mate Naida Bromley after an exciting battle with both athletes being awarded identical times of 11. 1 secs.

Emily Locker also got into the points with fifth place in 12.1 secs, but looks capable of much better. She seems certain to improve as the season progresses.

Bromley kept the ball rolling in the high jump, winning easily with her best on-the-night clearance of 1.48m, with Emily Kirkham picking up fifth place and L Andrews and Chloe Beckett adding the points from equal sixth.

In the U11 girls' competitions, S Endersby was Wakefield's solitary scorer, taking fifth place in the 75m in 12.6. secs behind Alice Simpson of Bradford Airedale who prevailed in 12.1 secs.

Wakefield's best male athlete result came from U17 Yorkshire 200m gold medallist Jonathan Shearn. Shearn headed a club one-two in the 100m final, beating team-mate Alan Ruddock to the line by three tenths of a second in 11.9 secs.

Ruddock went on to claim maximum points in the long jump after a close tussle with Parkside's Matthew Clay. He eventually won on count back to his next best jump after both athletes had finished with best leaps of 5.75m. John Uridge also got into the act, claiming fifth spot in the event.

In the U15 boys' section, John Fletcher was Wakefield's only scorer on the night, placing third with a 4.79m leap in the long jump. He then finished fifth in the 100m in 13.5 secs.

At U13 boys' level, James Fox claimed second place in the discus behind Andrew Staniland of Skyrac and also claimed fifth in the 80m final in 12 secs flat, just in front of club-mate Jamie Wilson in sixth place with an identical time.

In the U11 boys' competitions, Scott Howe showed promise to finish fourth in the 75m in 12.2 secs. Chris Brennan claimed the point for sixth in 12.4 secs.

Howe went on to finish a good third in the shot putt, just 18cm behind the winner who putted 5.07m. Wakefield team-mates Daniel Smith and James Richardson picked up the points for fourth and fifth respectively.

In the senior men's section, one of Wakefield's two scorers was another athlete who has just returned to the sport after a 12-year absence, Paul Taylor who claimed a hard-earned fourth in the 200m, clocking 25.2 secs behind Skyrac's Thomas Poulson White who won in 23.9 secs.

Simon Fullman finished fifth in the 400m, recording 56.1 secs behind Danny Herman of Pudsey and Bramley, who won in 51.4 secs.