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West Yorkshire Track & Field Championships 1999

Reports by: Martin Cunnane

5th September 1999 - Princess Mary Stadium, Cleckheaton

Womens and Girls Report Mens and Boys Report

Womens Meeting Report

Wakefield Harriers were in winning form at the West Yorkshire Track and Field League Championships held at the Princess Mary Stadium, Cleckheaton.

Wakefield's female section, which has dominated the seven meeting league programme, showed that besides possessing the strength in depth to run away with the league title for the sixth consecutive season, they could also field individual athletes capable of capturing championship titles.

And the athletes on duty performed with distinction throughout the day to produce a plethora of gold medal-winning displays.

Starting in the U11 girls' section, promising middle distance athlete Jaydene Wright put the seal on a tremendous first full season with the Harriers by tracking Skyrac's C Grimshaw until the final 150 metres when she burst to the front to quickly pull five metres clear.

And despite a spirited fight back by the Skyrac youngster, Wright proved too strong and eventually ran out a comfortable eight-metre winner in 2 mins 02.7 secs.

In the shot final, won by Alice Simpson of Bradford Airedale, Wakefield's J Howe had her first taste of championship competition and acquitted herself well by finishing a respectable fifth overall, just in front of club-mate Bernadette Dales in sixth.

In the U13 girls' competitions, sprint starlet Louise Shaw qualified comfortably for the 80m final where, after starting quickly, she was soon into her stride and powered to victory by a four-metre margin over Bingley's Rachael Long in 11.2 secs.

Super all-rounder Naida Bromley picked up a trio of silver medals, finishing second to Parkside's Tanya Brook in the high-jump 1.51m to 1.45m, and notching silver no 2 in the shot where, despite registering a pb putt of 8.53m, she lost out by just two centimetres to Skipton's E Shaw.

Bromley's third silver of the day was hard earned in the 800m where, despite trailing the leading bunch of five into the home straight, she rallied close home to move into second place fifty metres out. And had just enough in reserve to hold her position, clocking 2 mins 35.6 secs behind Bingley's Rachael Long.

Wakefield's strong U15 girls' contingent totally dominated their section of the championships. Their dominance was highlighted in the 100m, where no fewer than seven Wakefield athletes progressed safely through the heats to the final.

In the final, the race developed into a dual between overall U15 league champ' Ruth Laybourn and Kate Smith with both athletes finishing locked together in 13.2 secs. The judges gave the nod to Laybourn.

Vicky Lambert picked up the bronze in 13.6 secs, just beating Laura Robinson who also recorded 13.6 secs. Nicole Welsh finished sixth in 13.8 secs, Olivia Smith seventh and Vicky Lockwood eighth in 14.1 secs after experiencing a cramp attack close home.

Laybourn went on to complete a notable track and field double by winning the high jump with a 1.50m clearance, heading yet another Wakefield one-two completed by Emily Mason, who took silver with a 1.45m jump. Amy Fozzard was fourth overall after clearing 1.40m.

Laura Robinson gained compensation for her fourth place finish in the short sprint final by running strongly throughout the 200m final to claim a well-deserved gold in 27.2 secs with Kate Smith again finishing runner-up to take her second silver of the day in 27.8 secs. Nicole Welch finished fourth in 28.1 secs, just ahead of club-mate Olivia Smith who filled fifth place in 28.3 secs.

The 800m saw Sarah Holah of Pudsey & Bramley take an early lead which she slowly extended to eventually run out a comfortable winner in 2 mins 22.4 secs from Kelly Johnson (Halifax) who finished in 2 mins 25.9 secs. Wakefield duo Carly Wright and Lucy Martin both stayed on gamely to fill third and fourth places respectively with Wright collecting bronze in 2 mins 30.7, a second and a half in front of Martin.

There were also silver and bronze medals for Wakefield in the 1500m where A Collett of Nestle Rowntrees gradually wore down Amy Fozzard and Samantha Colley to eventually win by just over seven seconds in 5 mins 20.8 secs. Fozzard took silver and Colley stayed on stoutly to take the bronze a further 11 seconds adrift.

Fozzard also won silver in the shot competition, putting a pb 8.99m to finish second half a metre down on winner Rachael Wolstenholme (Bradford Airedale), with Wakefield club-mate Ruth Laybourn capturing her third medal of the championships, the bronze, to end a highly successful day.

In the U17 women's section, Kate Richardson notched a notable field double, winning the long jump with her best leap of 5.12m from Wakefield club mate Kirsty Hodson who took silver. Richardson went on to head Hodson again in the shot final, setting up another Wakefield one-two with her winning effort of 8.34m.

Hodson also finished fourth in the 300m final behind runaway winner Kate Metcalfe of Halifax. Metcalfe also won the 100m in 13 secs flat with Wakefield's Hayley Atkinson adding bronze to the club's mounting medals tally.

In the senior women's events, one of the most pleasing results for Wakefield supporters was provided by Janet Robinson, who has only just returned to athletics since taking ten years off to bring up her family.

Robinson, who still holds the West Yorkshire 400m League record set back in 1987, opened her account on the day with an unexpected bronze medal in the 100m final, won by Bingley's Nicole Crosby in 12.6 secs.

But it was in the 200m where she excelled, running on strongly to collar Nestle Rowntrees' Tina Jones halfway up the home straight powering home to a surprise but well-earned win. She beat the York athlete by five metres in 27.3 secs with ex-Wakefield athlete Fiona Barr, now with Parkside, in third a further five metres adrift.

Robinson's return to form augers well for next year's competitions and with a further winter's training under her belt she could well find herself competing in Wakefield's UK Women's League Division 1 programme.

Junior middle distance runner Laura Sheard was not extended to add the West Yorkshire senior 1500m title to the Yorkshire junior 1500m crown she won at the same venue back in May. Finishing strongly, she crossed the line with a considerable advantage to end her season on a winning note.

Another junior specialist hurdler, Ruth Dales, collected silver in the long jump, finishing just four centimetres behind winner Tina Jones of Nestle Rowntrees.

In the senior women's section, veteran allrounder Jenny Cunnane added yet another title to her list of season's credits, winning the discus with a creditable 34.77m effort.

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Mens & Boys Meeting Report

Wakefield sprint sensations Paul Sampson and Chris Bedford provided the battle of meeting at the West Yorkshire Track & Field Championships.

Wasps RU winger Sampson snatched an early lead with his customary flying start from the blocks and held off the best efforts of Bedford to reel him in. Sampson eventually crossed the line a tenth of a second to the good in 11.2 secs with Bedford ensuring a Wakefield one-two for silver. Wakefield's third finalist, Steve Thorpe, finished fifth in 12.1 secs.

It was a similar story in the 200m where Sampson led early, and keeping on strongly, he duly obliged, clocking 22.1 secs. He again consigned team-mate Bedford to the silver medal spot in 22.4 secs.

Wakefield had been four-handed in the final with Thorpe again just finishing outside the medal placings in fourth in 24.7 secs, and Paul Taylor filling a well-deserved sixth in 25.3 secs.

Wakefield was also well represented in the middle distance events with James Lloyd trying to make all in the 800m. The Wakefield man, who is in his first season of serious competitive athletics, held sway at the front until the last turn when Skyrac's Jonathan Keith bit the front and quickly pulled five metres clear of the tiring Lloyd.

Wakefield's Craig Heppenstall came late on the scene to move into second place, but the line came too soon for him and he had to he content with silver finishing seven tenths of a second behind Keith, who clocked 1 min 59.6 secs. Lloyd just failed to hold on to the bronze medal, finishing fourth in 2 mins 03 secs flat.

Lloyd employed similar tactics in the 1500m, but Keith again proved too strong and went on to complete the double in 4 mins 14.2 secs. Heppenstall again finished quickest of all to take silver three metres down, and Lloyd was rewarded for his hard work with the bronze, finishing in 4 mins 16.2 secs.

In the U17 men's competitions, Yorkshire 200m champ' Jonathan Shearn, who has suffered with a hip problem since winning the county crown back in May, showed he is well on the mend by taking the 100m gold after just getting the better of Halifax's Rob McKenzie at the end of an extended dual.

Both athletes were awarded identical times of 11.9 secs, with Alan Ruddock taking bronze in 12.2 secs just in front of Matt Young, who also clocked 12.2 secs. Wakefield's fourth finalist, John Uridge, filled eighth place.

Young also put in a tremendous effort in the 200m final, leading until the final 25 metres when 100m silver medallist McKenzie proved just too strong to win by two tenths of a second in 24 secs flat. Young collected silver and Ruddock, who has been plagued by a back problem all season, took sixth overall.

In the U15 section, John Fletcher left it late in the long jump. He trailed Halifax's T Ball until the very last jump of the competition when he produced a 5.13m leap to eclipse the Halifax boy's 5.10m effort. Fletcher's win was a repeat of his victory in last year's U13 competition.

Fletcher also picked up a bronze in the 100m, clocking 13.1 secs behind Holmfirth's Tom Jennings, who won in 12.6 secs. He added fourth in the 200m behind the same athlete.

Martyn Bernard capped a tremendous season of achievement by winning the high jump with his best clearance of 1.70m, and then went on to take the bronze in the shot with a respectable 9.99m effort. He looks certain to continue to develop, especially in his favoured event, the high jump.

In the U11 competitions, Scott Howe was rewarded for his steady season's improvement with a well-deserved silver medal in the 75m final, where he chased Parkside's Dale Hartley all the way to eventually finish just three tenths of a second down in 11.5 secs. Club-mate Christopher Brennan, who has another two years in the age group, did extremely well to place fifth in the final, recording 12.2 secs.

Howe also filled fifth place in the 800m, clocking 2 mins 03.5 secs behind Halifax's M Turner, who won in 1 min 56.2 secs.

Howe claimed another silver medal in the shot, with a 5.61m putt behind the winning 6.16m effort of D Shepherd (Skipton). With another Wakefield youngster, James Richardson, finishing fifth in the final with his best putt of 5.48m.

Christopher Lockwood finished just outside the medals in fourth spot in the long jump, with a best mark of 3.57m behind Parkside's Dale Hartley who completed a double with his best leap of 4.30m.

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