Only way is up for Pontefract Athletics Club after Northern League promotion secured

Pontefract Athletics Club have secured promotion after enjoying a third successive team victory in the Northern Track and Field League’s East Division Two at Cleckheaton.

By Tony Harber
Friday, 22nd July 2022, 8:00 am

Delighted club chairman Cyril Jones has described it as “an important milestone in the development of the club” as they are now six points clear at the top of Division Two with promotion to Division One secured for next year with one match remaining.

The Pontefract club started competing in the Northern Track and Field League, for Seniors, U20s and U17s in 2016 and next year will be their first time in Division One.

The result of last Sunday’s match three was: 1 Pontefract 456 points; 2 Mansfield 437.8; 3 Longwood 404.8; 4 Barnsley 353; 5 Bradford Airedale 250.8; 6 Penistone 198.8; 7 Worksop 59.

Members of Pontefract Athletics Club’s promotion-winning Northern League team are pictured with club chairman Cyril Jones.

Numerous club records were set on the day.

Katie Kelly was in impressive form, winning the women’s 400m in 63.6 seconds to set club records for U17s, U20s and senior women. Katie was also second in the 200m, setting club records in the same three age groups with 27.3 seconds.

Beatrice Cunningham set two club records in the U17s age group, winning the B competition in the women’s 400m hurdles with 78.9 seconds and winning the B competition in the triple jump with 9.79m in her first competition in this discipline. She also won the high jump with 1.45m.

Luke Murphy won the men’s long jump, setting a club record with an excellent 6.44m. He was also second in the 100m, equalling the club record with 11.8 seconds and second in the 200m with 24.0 seconds.

Faye Rhodes won the women’s discus with an excellent throw of 35.29m to set yet another club record. She also won the shot putt with 9.41m and the javelin with 22.26m and was third in the hammer (36.50m).

Richard Howes set two club records in the men’s over 60 age group. His 32.89m in the javelin and 9.21m are among the best in the country in his age group.

Will Carter was again in outstanding form, winning the pole vault with 3.20m. He was second in the 110m hurdles (22.3)), triple jump (11.09m), shot putt (10.18m) and hammer (20.05m). and third in the discus (31.09m).

Johanna Sutcliffe won the women’s 800m in 2:29.5 and the 1500m in 5:14.4. Eleanor Birden won the women’s 100m hurdles in 18.7 and the triple jump with a personal best of 9.85m. She was also second in the 400m hurdles in 81.7 and second in the long jump with 4.55m.

Elizabeth Teece won the women’s B javelin with a personal best of 21.15m and the B hammer with 13.65m. A clearance of 1.30m in the high jump placed her second in the B competition in that event.

The women’s 4x100m relay team of Evie Allen, Isobel Sutton, Katie Kelly and Eleanor Birden produced some slick baton changes and good sprinting to come home first, setting a club record of 54.0 seconds.

Katie Kelly was also in the Womens 4x400m relay team with Beatrice Cunningham, Vicki Harris and Johanna Sutcliffe and they were first over the line too, setting yet another club record with 4:38.8.

In last Saturday’s Humber League meeting at Scunthorpe, Francesca Ward added her name to the array of club records when she won the U15 girls 200m in 27.8 seconds.

She was also second in the 100m in a personal best of 13.7 seconds.

On the road running side, in the Darrington 5 Miles race, Nathan Doy had an outstanding run to finish fourth in a senior men’s club record of 28:37.

Further club records were achieved by Scott Daly (men’s O50, 31:01, Johanna Sutcliffe (women’s O45 and O40, 32:18 and Alan Boyd (men’s O60, 34:17).