SALLY SCOTT soared to second place in the UK pole vault rankings when she led the region’s medal charge at the inaugural England Under-20 and Under-23 Championships at Bedford.
The Gateshead Harrier, despite being only 16, came out on top on countback in the under-20 competition after clearing a new life-time best of 3:80 metres.
She managed this at her second attempt while her nearest rival, who tops the rankings, took three efforts, leaving Scott to pick up the gold medal.
Scott’s success opened the floodgates as athletes from the North East rose to the occasion at the two-day competition.
Shildon’s Melissa Carr showed no reaction to a recent injury to win the under-20 triple jump with 12:45m, just three centimetres short of her pb which she set when winning the North Eastern Championships.
New Marske’s Ricky Stevenson held on to win the under-20 1,500 metres in 3:51.34 while Gateshead’s Lewis Robson pictured below) ran quicker than ever before to pick up the 400 metres hurdles bronze medal in the same age group with a time of 52.79secs.
There were many other notable performances in the under-20 section with Gateshead’s Richard Kilty, though finishing out of the medals, improving his times as he progressed through the 100 metres rounds.
Kilty shaved one-hundredth of a second of his previous best when winning his heat in 10.65sec.
He then proceeded to run 10.61sec in the semi-final and repeated that to finish fifth in the final.
Birtley’s Katy Wilson came agonising close to making the podium in the hammer but her 46:45 metres effort was only good enough for fourth place.
Gateshead duo Andrew Stanton and Lauren Dewdney both made their finals.
After recording 1:52.60 in his 800 metres heat, Stanton finished eighth in 1:54.18.
Dewdney, meanwhile, ran 14.65sec to finish third in her heat of the 100 metres hurdles and improved to 14.47sec for sixth place in the final.
There were three Teesside successes in the under-23 age group with two athletes setting new championship records.
Redcar Walking Club’s Commonwealth Games representative Johanna Jackson lowered her own championship best performance by 17seconds which she set in 2005 when winning the five-kilometre contest in 22:38.19.
Rabah Yusuf, still waiting for a UK passport while competing for Windsor, Slough and Eton, stormed to victory in the 400 metres in 46.04secs, beating Rob Tobin’s 2005 record of 46.27secs.
Leslie Richards (Trafford) won the discus title with a throw of 53:94m. Gateshead’s Andrew Sturrock ran a personal best of 14.85sec in the final of the 110 metres hurdles, while cousin Craig Sturrock finished sixth in the shot putt with 14:81m.
Other notable performances in the under-23s included Ashleigh Gibson’s (Elswick) sixth place in the 1,500 metres (4:30.98); Darlington's Lewis Moses, seventh in the 1,500 metres in 3:54.36 and Elswick’s Ryan McLeod, seventh in the 5,000 metres in 14:34.82.
Gateshead’s Kieran Flannery withdrew from the final of the 800 metres after picking up an injury in the semi-finals.
IN A specially-arranged 3,000 metres race at Monkton Stadium, Morpeth’s Ian Hudspith warmed up for next weekend’s World Championships 10,000 metres trials, winning in 8min 12.0secs.