Pontefract Athletics Club achieve first-ever Northern League meeting team victory

Pontefract Athletics Club enjoyed a landmark first ever team win in the opening  match of the season in Division  Two East of the Northern Track and Field League.

By Tony Harber
Friday, 27th May 2022, 8:00 am

It was an emphatic victory by well over 100 points.

The Pontefract women’s team was superb, winning 11 out of the 17 events in the “A” competition and having numerous wins in the “B” event. The men’s team also did well and several new club records were set.

Eleanor Birden started the ball rolling in the first track event, the women’s 400m hurdles, winning in a new club record for U20 and senior ladies with a time of 78.8 seconds.

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Eleanor Birden won four individual events and was also part of the winning team in the 4x100 metres relay in Pontefract Athletics Club's first-ever team victory in the Northern Track and Field League meeting at Dorothy Hyman Stadium, Cudworth.

It was the first of four individual victories for Eleanor and she also anchored home the Pontefract 4x100m relay team in first.

Beatrice Cunningham won the B race in the women’s 400m hurdles, setting a club record of 79.9 seconds for U17 ladies in her first ever competition in that event.

Eleanor won the 100m hurdles in 19.5 seconds with Evie Allen winning the B race in 23.0 seconds to set a club record for U17 ladies. Eleanor also won the long jump with 4.61m and the triple jump with 9.82m.

Alice Dolman won the B competition in the long jump with 4.07m and Niamh Atkinson won the B competition in the triple jump with 8.62m.

Johanna Sutcliffe won the women’s 800m in 2:28.3. Katie Kelly won the B race in 2:33.7 and also won the B race in the 200m in 28.3 seconds.

Faye Lightowler won the women’s 1500m in 5:10.0 with Johanna Sutcliffe taking victory in the B race in 5:10.5.

Rebecca Winter kept the pot boiling in the distance events, winning the 3,000m race in 10:47.4 seconds. Faye Lightowler won the B race in 10:54.0.

Faye Rhodes won the women’s discus with 32.19m and Raya Welsh produced a personal best to take second place in the B competition with 17.97m.

Faye was second in the hammer with 39.33m with Niamh Atkinson winning the B competition with 21.61m. Faye was also second in the shot putt (9.48m).

Beatrice Cunningham had not even done high jump in training until the night before the competition, but she amazed everyone by winning the women’s event with an impressive 1.45m.

Christine McCarthy clocked 87.1 seconds in the 400m to improve her own ladies over 60 club record.

The Pontefract team of Evie Allen, Katie Kelly, Isobel Sutton and Eleanor Birden was first over the line in the women’s 4x100m relay in 56.1 seconds.

Further success came in the women’s 4x400m relay. Alice Dolman, Faye Lightowler, Johanna Sutcliffe and Rebecca Winter came in first, setting a club record of 4:45.4.

In the men’s events, as in previous years, Will Carter was the club’s man of steel. He competed in seven events, winning the pole vault with 3.00m and finishing second in five other individual events before taking part in the 4x100m relay.

Will recorded 21.5 in the 110m hurdles, 20.73m in the hammer, 29.95m in the discus, 9.57m in the shot putt and 10.85m in the triple jump.

Richard Howes also made a big impact. He won three B events, the hammer with 16.73m, the discus (20.89m) and the shot putt (7.78m). He was also second in the “A” javelin with 33.72m.

Jack Holmes was a clear winner of the high jump with 1.85m and he was second in the long jump with 4.59m.

Kevin Waite was third in the B race in the 800m, setting a club record for men over 60 with 2:31.2. He also set a club over 60 record in the 400m with 70.5.

The match result was: 1st Pontefract 475 points; 2nd Barnsley 349; 3rd Mansfield 333; 4th Longwood 313; 5th Penistone 294; 6th Bradford Airedale 204; 7th Worksop 55.