THE indoor athletics scene is well under way now with many athletes from south Essex competing at a top-class London Games meet at Lee Valley.
International 400m hurdler Lauren Bouchard got her season off to a flying start with a personal best over the flat 400m.
The Loughborough University student, from Leigh, will be hoping to earn another Great Britain vest at the European Under-23 Championships this summer and started the year well with a time of 55.25s over 400m.
In the sprint hurdles, Grays’ Khai-Riley Laborde was one-hundreth of a second outside his personal best in the under-20 men’s 60m hurdles, stopping the clock at 8.12s. Robbie Clarricoats, from Tilbury, set a PB of 8.43s in the same race.
Southend High School for Girls’ high jump star Poppy Lake was pleased with her second appearance of the year which saw her comfortably go over 1.70m and come so close to a PB-equalling 1.75m jump.
There were a number of Basildon AC athletes at Lee Valley with under-20 David Abiona breaking a club record in the triple jump with a leap of 12.92m which puts him 15th in the UK rankings.
Under 20 James Gillingham seems to be breaking PBs every time he steps out to compete and he broke 50 seconds for the first time in the 400m with a time of 49.97s. This is just 0.47 shy of the club record and places Gillingham sixth in the UK rankings.
Another under 20 to break a PB was Emmanuel Nanang who knocked a whole second off his 400m PB, stopping the clock on 51.15s. Meanwhile, team-mate Matt Scott ran 56.64s and Southend AC’s Tom Metalf ran 54.44s.
There were a good number of senior Basildon athletes at Lee Valley too.
Sade Bailey achieved a PB in the high jump with a clearance of 1.66m, while Louise Douglass had a mixed bag of results with 61.08s in the 400m and 2m 23.17s in the 800m.
In the 60m, senior man Jan Barnard ran a PB of 7.86s and Lee Dollard was one hundredth away from his PB with 7.11s.
Multi-eventer Heidi Nicholas was another to have mixed results for her first outing of 2013 with 5.01m in the long jump, 9.61 over the 60m hurdles and 8.16 in the 60m sprint.
For Southend AC, triple jumper Emmanuel Gbegli leaped out to 13.36m.