Essex and Eastern Indoor Champs

Championship Best Performance despite Power cut denying medals

In a weekend that saw the Essex and Eastern Indoor Championships cut short by a power cut, Harriers athletes still managed to produce some excellent performances despite many of them not being able to progress through to finals or compete at all.

Harrier’s queen of sprints, Rebecca Jeggo, continued her excellent form by running her quickest ever indoor 200m at the county’s premier Indoor Championships. Clocking a Championship Best Performance, as well as a new Club Record and PB her time of 25.2 s in her heat, will no doubt bring confidence ahead of the National Age Group Championships at the end of February where she will go head to head against women two years older than her. Due to the power cut she was unable to compete her final for a podium place.

Day one of the competition also saw success for Olivia Simon and Madeleine Claydon, two of the green vests youngest athletes, as they competed in an age group above themselves in order to compete in Pole Vault.  12 year old Olivia Simon claimed a massive PB and with it a Silver medal in the U15 girl’s event as she confidently cleared 2m in a new Club Record and an equal second place in the national rankings. Claydon, a talented U13 multi-eventer, had a tough days competition as she juggled both Pole Vault and Long Jump consecutively, jogging across the arena in order to compete in both events simultaneously.  However her hard work paid off with a PB and Bronze position in Pole Vault and a PB in the Long Jump.

In the short sprints, Saturday also saw first year U15 Graig Anya-Joseph compete in and claim his first ever Indoor Championship gold in the 60m sprint, running a very impressive 7.36s in his heat with an equally consistent run in the final crossing the line in 7.37s.   In the U17 men’s 60m Callum McKay won his heat comfortably then went on to win the bronze in a fiercely contested final clocking 7.20s.

In the U20 men’s race Connor Oliver reached the semi-finals despite having missed valuable training in recent weeks.

Eleanor Hopgood was the only U15 green vest in the girls 60m where she rewarded herself with a place in the semi-final in a new PB of 8.68s.   She also competed in the U15 Long Jump. U17 women were represented by Lauren Strutt who ran a Seasons Best time of 8.65s, Megan Stevens 8.49s and Savannah Harrison 8.73s.

Katy Rice, looked in fine form in the U17 women’s 60m Hurdles clocking a new PB of 10.93s and can progress into the outdoor season confident that her training is reaping rewards.

The second day of the Championships saw Savannah Harrison showing grit to pick herself up from a fall just meters from the line in a swift U17 women’s 300m.

Anya-Joseph continued his good form to place fastest qualifier in the U15 boys 200m in a new indoor PB of 24.6s, whilst U17 Callum McKay would also have qualified to the final of his 200 after placing second in his heat, and last Harrier on the track before time was called on the Championships was U20 Charlie Dobson, who returning from illness still managed to post the fastest qualifying time (22.6s).

A power cut to the entire area around Lee Valley at midday on day two of the Championships meant that the centre had to be evacuated and proceedings were cut short, denying many athletes the chance to contest for podium places or even compete in their event.  At the time of going to press there was no information of the event will be re-scheduled.

Scottish Silver for McKay

Just a week before(28 January)  U17 Callum McKay, whose father is Scottish, travelled up to the Emirates arena in Glasgow to compete in the Scottish indoor Championships where he  eased through his two heats winning both comfortably to make the final in the 60m.

With just fifteen minutes between semi-final and final McKay produced his fastest time ever to gain a well-deserved silver medal in 7.16s.

Olivia Simon (L) and Madeleine Claydon (R) with Essex and Eastern pole vault medals