By David Greenwood

SALE Harriers were crowned national champions at the Youth Development League national final at SportCity in Manchester.

Seven teams qualified from regional finals covering the whole of the UK to reach the annual showcase of young talent has seen many athletes who go on to become Olympians or Great Britain team members.

In the recent past, the likes of  Katrina Johnson-Thompson, Jake Wightman and Lynsey Sharp have all represented their clubs at these championships.

The YDL operates as a league over the spring and summer months with the best teams qualifying for a regional final from which they can qualify for the national final.

The competition is fierce and standards are impressively high as a range of run, jump and throw events have two competitors for each club.

Each team enters athletes in the under-15 and u13 age groups, with the points totals added together at the end.

This year's finalists alongside Sale were Preston Harriers, Birchfield Harriers (Birmingham), Marshall Milton Keynes, Blackheath and Bromley, Edinburgh and Reading.

The competition was very close throughout before Sale Harriers were crowned national champions with 606 points.

Second were Blackheath and Bromley (595 points), with Reading (565) in third and Preston (516) fourth.

Success Eduan (Sale) broke two league records in the 100m and 200m sprints at u15s level and Basil Zola broke the u15 boys' high jump record.

Thia Brown jumped over her own height to break the u13 girls' record for the high jump, while 1500m runner, Evan Savage, won the Frank Starkie award for his performance in winning the u15 1500m convincingly.

Harriers team managers, Carl Worthington and Sinead Ferguson, were keen to praise all the athletes and their coaches for their work over the season, while Sale are indebted to the many volunteers who act as officials, including many from Trafford AC who helped make this event run smoothly – Northern Region representative Alan Johnson co-ordinating the Championships.