Northern Track & Field League, East 1 North Division – Meet 4

Harriers Track & Field prove there is no I in TEAM!

On Saturday the 19th of August, the North of England Track & Field team made the journey to the Dorothy Hyman Stadium at Cudworth, knowing they needed a strong performance in the fourth and final meeting of the season to maintain their place in Division one as they continued to fight back from a poor result in match one.

Despite a few athletes on holiday, and one or two late drops outs due to work and injury, Team Manger Neil Dutton, with a little help from his persuasive side kick John McFadzean had put together a strong team.

However due to more disruption on the day which meant some athletes had to step up in events not within their normal comfort zone the ‘all for one and one for all’ spirit was badly needed and the athletes did not disappoint.

This was evident from the very first events where Kelly Law joined Eve Dutton in the long jump.

This was Kelly’s first experience at track and field and had volunteered to fill in for the absent throwers after a brief chat with John at training and a quick coaching session but also agreed to have a go at long jump.

Kelly went on to compete in the Hammer, Discus, Javelin and Shot and gathered a lot of valuable points along the way.

In the first men’s event, the hammer, Soljai Waterman was joined by Craig Sheard who was unable to take part in his hurdle’s due to a slight strain but still took part in 6 events, covering all four throws after a late call off by another athlete along with the 100m and 4 x 100m relay.

Soljai who has been a great find this season also competed in all four throws as the A athlete performing well against older and more experienced athletes with some stellar distances. To compete his day and show his versatility he also again represented the club in the high jump.

Probably the biggest smile of the day was on the face of Claire Leaver – Hewitt, not when she won her 800m and 1500m races but when she agreed without hesitation to step into the shot circle alongside Kelly to fill in a gap.

Claire threw a PB and as was commented she was really buzzing after that and also ran the 200m, 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m relays with a broad smile on her face.

With Craig unable to compete in the 400m hurdles someone was needed to take his place.

Adam Sunderland who had come to support his son Jack and help officiate as there was no steeplechase for men at this meeting was the man for the moment.

Borrowing shorts that were a bit large and a running vest that was a bit tight Adam ran with aplomb to win the B race on his hurdling debut.

He was supported by Oscion-Shem Waterman who ran a personal best in the A race and went onto take part in the triple jump.

The busiest Athlete of the day was Ruby Sykes who took part in a maximum 7 events as she returned to action.

Ruby dominated both the 800m and 1500m races running away from the field in both events for comfortable victories, in the 1500m she managed to lap another runner.

Ruby also ran in the 100m and both relays and again showed the team spirit by taking part in the Triple Jump and agreeing to stick a javelin in the ground in the final field event,

Whilst Ruby was the busiest the most tired must have been Helena Croft.

Helena led by example as the ladies captain taking part in the first track event the 400m hurdles and in the final ladies races the two relays and in between there was the energy sapping 3000m steeple chase where she was 2nd and the 3000m flat where she won the B race.

Neil’s daughter Eve competed in the maximum number for the under 20 age group, 5and was very competitive in everyone, recording excellent results in the 100m, 200m and 400m plus the long jump that had started her day off and then moved vertically to the high jump.

It was pleasing to see Julia Jagger back in the fold after answering the call for help after having ruled this season out due to injury.

She ran an excellent 3000m before catching the spirit of the team and running both relays.

The ladies 4 x 100m team of Helena, Ruby, Claire and Julia had got together and decided to put a team in despite this being well short of all their preferred distances,however the 4 points they gained were vital as this was the difference between finishing 3rd and no 4th on the day.

After cheering his dad on in the Hurdles Jack Sunderland steeped up to the plate to run well in the 800m, and then joined the 4 x 100m and 4 x 800m teams in top notch performances.

The third male under 17 member of the team, Sam Williams on his debut ran a very promising 1500m to finish just in front of his compatriot Lavell Pierre.

The irrepressible Lavelle had what was for him an easy day as apart from the 1500m he was only required to take part in the long jump and 4 x 100m but his mere presence is a boost to team morale.

Ted Chamberlain who has been in top notch form this season did not disappoint winning the 200m B race before striding away to win the 400m with ease and running the last leg of the day in the 4 x 400m.

Kai Sunman had run a very strong 800m where he finished a very close second before taking part in the triple jump and the being part of the victorious 4 x 400m team.

The final member of the 4 x 400m team was Will Lander who like Eve had competed in the 100m, 200m and 400m notching up two 2nd and one 1st places before taking running in both relays.

The final two team members were Phil Hewitt and Paul Sammonds who had no doubt been inspired by the female endurance athlete’s performances and both recorded very respectable 2nd places behind a very talented pair from Leeds.

The final track event of the day was the 4 x 400m for men in which Holmfirth Harriers team had been unbeaten all year.

This proved to be one of the most exciting finishes of the day as Leeds had put out a very strong team with their faster athletes going off first they held a good lead before Will Lander began to cut into it on the 3rd leg but as he handed over to Ted there was still a 20m deficit which Ted gradually closed down until the pair were eyeball to eyeball down the finishing straight with Ted’s strength gaining the upper hand just before the line.

Last but not the least members of the team were the officials who gained 55 vital points whilst Pontefract who finished 2 points behind Harriers and ended up being relegated only gained 45 officials points.

Diane Baldwin carried out the time keeper role after having assisted on the field as we officiated in the hammer.

John Buckingham and Ian Moore were again our track maestros and John McFadzean led the field contingent and was supported by Neil, Damian McQueen, and Adam Sunderland.

When the dust had settled and the results were checked and amended, apparently Helena had run the 300om steeplechase for Harrogate, we finished 3rd on the day, only 7 points behind 2nd and this moved us up to 3rd in the final league table.

Well done to Neil and all of the team who pulled together as one and produced and excellent result that means we can look forward to 2024 with renewed optimism.

Match Report – John McFadzean

Photographs courtesy of Paul Sammonds and John Buckingham


Match Result 19th of August at Cudworth


Officials Points

Track Points

Field Points

Relay Points

Total Pts





































Final Overall Table East Division 1 North


Match Points

League Points



























Helena about to make a splash in the water jump!

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