ATHLETICS: IT was a good day for Thurrock duo Hayley McLean and James Pearson at the Southern Indoor Championships as both came home from their first events of the year with medals, writes Ryan Goad.

International hurdler McLean, from Stanford, used the competition as a chance to fit in some endurance training by racing the 800m.

And the 18-year-old showed she is in good early season form by bagging silver and clocking a personal best of 2m 18.63s.

William Edwards School pupil Pearson, meanwhile, won a bronze medal in the under-15 boys pentathlon.

The Thurrock Harrier improved his high jump personal best to 1.65m on his way to collecting 2,590 points. 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.

His team-mates Liam Barnard (60mh 11.34s/LJ3.85m/Shot 5.18m/HJ 1.14m/800m 2M 50.86s) and Charlie Splarn (60mh 12.64s/LJ 3.85m/Shot 6.52m/HJ 1.20m/800m 4m 10.85s) finished in 11th and 13th places.

Three other teenage Harriers were in pentathlon action. In the under-15 girls, Elena March finished 25th and Seniz Jessener in 27th place, while in the under-17 women’s category, Beth James was 15th.

l THE final round of the Essex League on Saturday presented the runners with a mud bath of a course through Epping Forest.

Thurrock begged three medals – all of these in the veteran’s sections. Mick Bumstead was the club’s only gold in all the sections winning the 60+ division. Mick has battled with injury all season but came good for this event.

Scott Rice was again a medallist in the 40+ section. This is the most numerous group in the League and medals do not come easy. Rice’s bronze was a result of a consistent season in the top 30.

The third medallist was Orsett’s Jon Metcalf who had to fight off a strong challenge from Dave Brock of Orion Harriers to ensure his bronze. One of his rivals in this age group is Harrier clubmate Eamonn Shelley – bronze medallist last time – who was fifth in this series.

All three of these were part of Thurrock’s team which finished seventh on the day. The team was headed by Alex Houghton who was eighth. Don Lawless followed his run in the County Championships with 42nd place. Individual positions: Scott Rice 25th, Jon Metcalf 55th, Eamonn Shelley 61st, Mick Bumstead 70th, Gary Rowlett 106th, Bernie Johnson 108th, Gary Cahill 110th, Steve Martindale 126th. Thanks to considerable strength in depth and consistency the team finished in fifth place in the league table which comprises 25 teams.

The club’s senior women’s team has gone from strength to strength and on Saturday they finished seventh.

Silvia Bognarova-Meredith was first home in a PB in 29th place. Sam Cox also PB’d with 34th place. A PB also came from Victoria Peacock who was 39th. Sarah Driver rounded off the team in 45th place. There were 75 finishers in this race.

Another team developing well is the under 13s. On Saturday they finished in fifth place. Positions: Reece Scott18th, Liam Chivers 20th, Zac Tsouroulla 26th, Zavier Tsououlla 35th.

Tomorrow (Saturday) six Harrier under 11s are representing Essex in the South of England Sportshall Athletics competition in Norwich. Competitors: Daniel Knight, Jamie Simmons, Harry Worsfold, Finlay Lowe, Jessica Smith, Funminiyi Olajide.