GREAT Britain international Jessica Judd gave the Danny Mullane Open Meeting at Chelmsford a sprinkling of stardust.
The Canvey 19-year-old was racing on the track for the first time since the World Championships in Moscow last August as she continues to build back towards peak condition following an injury lay-off over the winter.
Judd chose to run the 1,500m (4m 19.88s) and 400m (57.40s) with both times suggesting she is in pretty decent shape for this time of year, given she spent much of the winter injured.
Judd was not the only GB international at the meeting, as Paralympic medallist Robin Womack, from Southend, opened his summer season by taking part in the shot-putt (10.75m) and discus (29.00m).
There were some other notable performances in the throwing events, not least from Canvey’s Victor Adebiyi who leapt to the top of the early national under-15 rankings in the discus with a personal best of 37.50m.
It was a good day for the Castle View School pupil who also set new PBs in the shot (12.91m) and hammer (34.38m).
Behind Adebiyi in the under-15 boys shot were Rayleigh’s Rob Runciman (12.66m) and Thurrock Harriers’ pair Max Hepher (9.31m) and Liam Chivers (6.50m) who all also set new PBs.
In the under-17 age group, Southend’s Billy Praim-Singh and Basildon’s Levi Causton renewed their rivalry with the Seasider (12.80m) just getting the better of Causton (11.53m) but both set new bests.
Praim-Singh also won the discus (32.16m) and got the better of Causton again in the hammer throwing a PB – and another Southend AC club record – of 54.99m to Causton’s 54.54m. Bothboys were beaten, however, by Stevenage’s George Marvell who threw 62.30m.
Behind them Basildon AC pair Marshall Smith (38.83m) and Zach Wooldridge (36.92m) also got PBs.
There were some encouraging performances from the female power throwers, too.
FitzWimarc School’s Gabrielle Quigley (Chelmsford AC) had a hat-trick of wins in the under-15 girls shot putt (10.19m), discus (31.80m) and hammer (34.77m PB).
Behind Quigley in the hammer was her Chelmsford team-mate, Rayleigh’s Laura Runciman who also threw a new best of 30.46m.
Basildon AC’s Olivia Bullis was another to re-write her own record books in the under-17 women’s hammer as she threw 41.62m.
Southend AC’s Eleanor Butt also had a good day with the throws, winning the under-14 shot (7.20m), discus (19.36m) and the javelin (23.84m).
Southend’s James Regan (Chelmsford AC) got a PB in the under-17 men’s javelin of 27.44m, as well as the long jump (5.72m), an event that was won by Castle View School’s Fluke Choichuadee (5.92m).
Rob Runciman, the national indoor pentathlon champion, won the under-15 boys high jump (1.80m) and long jump (5.74m) while Mayflower School pupil Connie Forman won the under-15 girls long jump with a PB of (5.05m).
Forman (Chelmsford AC) also set a 200m PB of 27.3s and clocked 13.06s for the 100m.
Basildon AC’s Henry Paul (U13) was another to combine sprints with the long jump and he was rewarded with a hat-trick of PBs (100m 14.55s, 200m 30.6s, long jump 3.92m).
Shannon McNeil (Basildon AC) won the under-17 women’s 100m (13.19s) while team-mate Theo Wooldridge clocked 11.31s in the under-20 men’s race.
In the middle distance events, young Basildon AC talent Abigail Ives won the under-11 girls 600m (1m 57.70s PB) with her older sister, Isobel, winning the under-17 1,500m in 4m 41.39s.
Another Basildon athlete, Gus Withers, got himself a new 800m best of 2m 19.38s in the under-15 boys race while Southend AC’s Joanna Rimmington (U15) set a 1,500m best of 5m 10.72s.
There were other good performances by Rimmington’s Southend team-mates, too.
Under-15 duo Eloise Lewis and Brogan Ravenall doubled up in the 100m and 200m with Lewis running 13.78s and 27.9s (PB) and Ravenall 13.86s and 29.2s.
Mitchell Lawrence (U15) ran 2m 31.9s in the 800m while Lucy Kidwell (2m 28.89s) and Natasha May (2m 39.2s) were both also in action over two laps.