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Gold medal rush for our athletes at county championships
IT was a weekend jam-packed with impressive performances from our athletes at the Essex County Championships.
Three of them – James Pearson, Hayley McLean and Chelsea Coker – returned home after two days of action with three gold medals, while there were plenty more who took to the top spot of the podium on two separate occasions.
One of those was Westcliff teenager George Elliott who produced arguably the stand-out performance of the weekend in the under-15 boys 800m, where he chopped six seconds off his personal best to win gold in 2m 0.59s – the second fastest time in the country this year. He returned the following day to win the 3,000m – his first race over the distance – in 9m 26.95s.
GB international hurdler McLean won the under-20 women’s flat 400m (56.78s PB) and 100m (12.22s PB) on the Saturday, then returned the next day to win the 200m (25.71s).
McLean was running just a week after a star showing in the Olympic Stadium – and there were a number of other youngsters also back in action after performing in the venue of this year’s Games.
Jessica Judd won the under-20 women’s 1,500m in 4m 23.11s, a time matched by Basildon AC’s Gemma Kersey in the senior women’s race (4m 23.04). Both were effectively time-trialling their way round with questions being raised as to why they weren’t put in the same race.
Kersey, 20, also took gold in the senior women’s 800m (2m 9.32s), while fresh from her gold medal at the UK School Games, Poppy Lake won the under-17 women’s high jump with another big clearance of 1.70m.
Coker won her three golds in the under-20 women’s shot (7.42m), discus (34.46m), and hammer (45.49m), while talented 13-year-old Pearson, a pupil at William Edwards School, Grays, took a hat-trick of victories in the under-15 boys 100m (12.07s), discus (37.42m) and shot (12.17m).
Also securing multiple medals on the track over the weekend were Jodie Judd, from Canvey, who took the under-15 girls 3,000m (10m 44.8s) and 1,500m titles (4m 50.25s), Southend AC’s Adam Hickey who won the 5,000m (14m 21.23s) and the 1,500m the next day (3m 50.63s), and Hickey’s younger team-mate, sprinter Lucy Shaw who completed the under-15 300m/200m double (43.71s/26.63s).
Double gold medallists in the field included Basildon AC’s Olivia Bullis who won the under-15 girls discus (28.01m) and hammer (28.57m), plus Castle View School’s Victor Adebiyi who took victories in the under-13 boys hammer (20.10m) and shot (10.71m).
Seevic’s Liam Yarwood may not have won two golds over the weekend, but his win in the under-20 men’s pole vault (4.20m) did make it two top spots on the podium at the championships as he was also crowned county decathlon champion last month.