National gold medal joy for Cleckheaton runner Sally

Cleckheaton's Sally Smith won the Women's 800m at the Senior AAA Championships.
Cleckheaton's Sally Smith won the Women's 800m at the Senior AAA Championships.

Cleckheaton athlete Sally Smith won the Women’s 800m at the combined England Athletics Senior AAA Championships and CAU Inter-Counties held at Bedford.

Competing on Yorkshire Day as Yorkshire and Northern champion, 21 year-old Sally won her first national gold medal.

Lying in eighth place at the bell, Sally moved through the field, took the lead on the final bend and came home a clear winner in 2.08.25.

In addition to the combined gold medals, Sally was presented with the Lillian Board trophy, in memory of the talented athlete whose final race was the AAA 800m held at Crystal Palace in 1970 before her tragic death from cancer later that year at the age of 22.

Sally runs for Wakefield Harriers and is coached at Leeds Beckett University by Aaron Thomas.

Spenborough veteran Keith McGhie won the British Masters 800m title at the third attempt at a rain-lashed Alexander Stadium in Birmingham.

McGhie, who will celebrate 25 years with Spenborough Athletics Club in 2016, finally struck gold after twice claiming the silver medal.

The Essex-born runner beat Chesterfield-based Ludwig Ramsey by just under a second, having taken the lead at the bell and held on to win in a time of two minutes 11.5 seconds — the fastest time in the UK this year by an athlete over 55.

Ramsey, who also had to settle for silver in the previous day’s 400m, finished ahead of Thurrock athlete Jonathan Metcalf.

Keith also holds Yorkshire and European veterans titles at the distance.

Spenborough’s older teenagers competed in their final Youth Development League match of the season at Princess Mary Stadium, finishing fourth behind Hull.

Glenn Aspindell enjoyed victories in the discus, javelin, triple jump and pole vault, Jack Kirk won the 110 metre hurdles and long jump, while Alex Rowell was the winner in the shot putt and B javelin.

Children have the opportunity to try athletics at the popular Startrack event run by Spenborough AC between August 17 to 19.

The event takes place at Princess Mary Athletics Stadium, Bradford Road, Liversedge, for children aged eight to 13 years old.

Qualified coaches will teach children to run, jump and throw in a safe and fun environment. Activities take place from 10am to 3pm and cost £20 for the three days or £10 each day. Parents can arrive with their children on the day or telephone 01274 678363.