AFTER a long wait since the end of the outdoor season, a whole clutch of athletes got their new campaigns under way at the Southern Indoors Championships.

It was a case of blowing off the cobwebs for most of the athletes, but despite it being so early in the season, there were still a number of fine performances and medals.

There was a silver medal for Hayley McLean and bronze medals for Poppy Lake, Rosa Prideaux and James Pearson, plus a fine run from Basildon AC’s James Gillingham which saw him narrowly miss out on a medal in the 400m.

International 400m hurdler McLean, from Stanford-le-Hope, used the competition as a chance to get some endurance training under her belt. She ran in the under-20 women’s 800m and showed she is in strong early season form by finishing second in a personal best time of 2m 18.63s.

Billericay’s Prideaux (Chelmsford AC) also set a PB on her way to a bronze medal in the under-17 women’s 300m, clocking 42.02s. Her team-mate Nicole McKechnie was one place ahead, narrowly missing out on the gold (40.49s).

Southend High School for Girls’ Lake was disappointed with her best effort of 1.65m in the under-20 women’s high jump, but it was still enough for a bronze medal.

Thurrock Harrier Pearson improved his high jump personal best to 1.65m on his way to collecting 2,590 points and a bronze medal in the under-15 boys pentathlon. He ran 8.93s for the 60m hurdles, leaped 5.27, for the long jump, putted the shot to 13.55m and rounded things off with a 2m 42.47s 800m. Pearson’s Harrier team-mates Liam Barnard and Charlie Splarn finished in 11th and 13th places respectively.

Basildon sprinter Gillingham only made the men’s under-20 400m final as a fastest loser but ran a PB of 50.38s in the final to just miss out on the medals.

His team-mate Louise Douglass made the final of the senior women’s 400m where she places fifth in 61.61s.

Elsewhere, Southend High School for Girls’ Michelle Hughes (Havering Mayesbrook) finished sixth in the under-17 women’s pentathlon (60m 9.32s, HJ 1.48m, shot 7.85m, LJ 4.75m, 800m 2m 51.29s).