Records tumble as Pontefract athletes return to action
Pontefract Athletics Club made an impressive start to the 2021 season in the North of England Track and Field League at Cleckheaton.
After losing the whole of the 2020 season because of Covid, the Pontefract club opened the new season with a bang in the first of the four competitions to be held this year in this league, which is for senior men and women, under 20s and under 17s.
In all, 16 new club records were set by Pontefract athletes with the team finishing third out of the eight clubs in Division Two East.
Faye Calvert was in excellent form and she set three of the club records, finishing first in the ladies hammer with a throw of 38.08 metres; first in the discus with 33.36 metres; and first in the shot putt with 9.80 metres.
Faye Lightowler came home first in the ladies 3000m, setting a club record for senior ladies, over 35 ladies and ladies over 40 with her time of 10 minutes, 33.0 seconds.
Johanna Sutcliffe was another winner in the B competition, setting a club record for ladies over 45 with 10 minutes, 41.1 seconds.
Faye doubled up by also winning the 1500m race, equalling her own club record of 5 minutes, 08.2 seconds.
Eleanor Birden came first in the ladies long jump with a distance of 4.48 metres and she also took the triple jump with 9.66 metres. In the 400m hurdles, she was second in a club record time for senior and under 20 ladies of 84.5 seconds.
The club record theme was followed by Christine McCarthy in the ladies over 60 in the 800m, with a time of 3 minutes, 6.5 seconds.
Christine also set club records for ladies over 50, over 55 and over 60 in the 400m with 91.6 seconds.
Jane Williams set a new club mark for ladies over 45 in the javelin with 13.05 metres.
Pontefract’s ladies 4x400m relay team of Alice Dolman, Christine McCarthy, Faye Lightowler and Johanna Sutcliffe set a club record for that event with a time of 5 minutes, 0.9 seconds.
The Pontefract men’s team was not as strong as in previous years, but Will Carter made an outstanding contribution to the club’s performance.
He competed in seven events, winning the pole vault with 3.20 metres, the shot putt with 9.22 metres, the discus with 29.69 metres and the long jump with 5.35 metres.
Will was also second in the javelin with 36.31 metres.
The match result was: 1 Longwood Harriers (409 points); 2 Rushcliffe AC 383; 3 Pontefract AC 322; 4 Penistone 309; 5 Barnsley 281; 6 Bradford Airedale 125; 7 Newark 112; 8 Worksop 61.
In last Wednesday’s West Yorkshire Track and Field League (for all age groups) at Cleckheaton, Will Carter won the senior men’s discus with 29.07 metres.
His younger brother, Harrison Carter, was second in the under 15 boys shot putt with 7.90 metres.
Eleanor Birden was in good form again, winning the under 20 ladies long jump with 4.54 metres and finishing second in the 100m in 14.17 seconds.
Katie Kelly recorded two personal best performances in the under 15 girls 100m, finishing third in 14.15 seconds, and in the 1500m, ending in sixth place in a time of 5 minutes, 35.64 seconds.
Elliot Prentice ran well in the under 17 men’s 1500m, finishing fifth in 4 minutes, 47.21 seconds.