Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Rivals No Barrier to Hurdler Jason; JUNIOR ATHLETICS

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Rivals No Barrier to Hurdler Jason; JUNIOR ATHLETICS

Article excerpt

Byline: BILL MCGUIRK Athletics writer

DESPITE the meeting lasting around seven hours, spectators were treated to excellent performances as Gateshead Stadium hosted the second round of the National Youth Development League competition for athletes in the under-17 and under-20 age groups.

A number of the athletes on view were chasing qualifying times and distances for the upcoming World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland in July.

While the cold conditions on the banks of the Tyne were not helpful theyt did not deter the athletes showing their exceptional talent.

Three of the six squads competing came from Scotland while the remaining three from south of the border were City of York, Leeds City and host club Gateshead.

It was the Scottish raiders who came out on top, which was not surprising as they trawl in athletes from many clubs to make up their squads while the English teams were made up mainly of their own athletes.

Leeds City's Connor Wood was one athlete chasing a Poland place and he showed he is close to making the trip with an excellent sprint double - winning the 100m in 10.81sec and the 200m in 21.32sec.

Having such strong opposition it helped Gateshead's representative Ben Todd to finish in second place in both events in 11.31s and 22.89s.

In the 400m, former New Year Sprint (Powderhall) champion Cameron Tindle made his debut over the distance and cantered home in 49.34s - though it is in the short sprints where he is hoping for a Poland place.

City of York's Chelsea Walker came agonisingly close to dipping under the qualifying time for Poland in the 400m hurdles (59.97s) before going on to make it a winning double in the 400m flat (56.65).

It came as no surprise Gateshead's hurdlers were the backbone of their points total, Jason Nicholson winning the 110m event in 14.29s after a tremendous tussle with team-mate Oliver Whellans, who recorded 14.78s. No athlete has yet run the qualifying time - 13.65s - for Poland but Nicholson's performance is not far short and, after setting a new pb, is now ranked number four in the UK while Whellans moves up into sixth. …

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