A SMALL group of Colchester Harriers did themselves and the club proud at this year’s Essex County and Eastern Counties Indoor Championships.

Four championship-best performances and three club records were secured, with a clutch of medals gained across all age groups.

Day one belonged to pole vault queen Olivia Simon, who, in her first year as an under-15, has already made a name for herself.

Her clearance of 2.55 metres not only secured a gold medal and the first Essex championship-best performance for the Green Vests but also seized the club record from her sister, dating back to 2011.

Making their Green Vest debuts in the under-13 girls’ 60m were Hollie Martin Whymark, who came fifth in her heat in 9.37s, Daisy Bullamore, who ran 10.41s, and Talia Wynter, who just missed out on a place in her semi with a time of 9.18s.

Under-15 Emily Swann took on the shortest sprint for the first time and came away with a personal best (PB) of 9.78s.

In the under-15 boys, Graig Anya Joseph, competing in his school colours, became Essex and Eastern champion with a new championship-best performance and Harriers club record of 7.08s.

Henry Lawes took second in his first-ever indoor championship heat as an under-17 and came away with a PB of 7.55s.

He missed out on a place in his semi by a mere three one hundredths of a second. Ella Gray claimed a new PB in the under-17 women’s 60m in a time of 8.57s, placing fifth in her heat.

In his first year in a new age category, Callum McKay made his way through to the under-20 men’s 60m final.

Despite a flyer of a start, where he led the field over the first 25m, he finished fifth in 7.17s.

In the women’s under-20s, there was disappointment for Joy Ogunleye - a certain medal contender - as she was forced to pull up in her heat after suffering tight hamstrings.

Team-mate Caitlin O’Reilly went on to take a well-earned bronze in 7.87s, which equals her 2015 indoor PB.

Joe Wilkin equalled his PB of 7.34s, taking second place in his heat, but this was not enough to see him through to the final.

Day two started with the 300m heats, where under-17 newcomer Jennifer Palmer finished her heat in a new indoor PB of 47.49s.

Also facing the tough long sprint was Savannah Harrison, who finished fifth in her heat in 47.07s.

Neither progressed to the final.

However, Harrison then went on to compete in the under-17 women’s triple jump where she achieved a club record as well as a bronze with a jump of 9.81m.

In the 800m, Harriers were represented by Thomas Palmer, making his club debut in the under-17 men’s, where he took silver in 2m 03.51s.

In the under-20 race, experienced middle-distance runner Oscar Dawson was pleased with his first performance of the year to take an indoor PB in a time of 2m 01.68s and with it a silver in both Essex and Eastern Championships.

In the younger age groups, Talia Wynter was just pipped to the line by team-mate Emily McGill, who finished her debut indoor performance in 3m 2.02s, with Wynter crossing the line in 3m 2.04s.

In the 200m, five podium placings were secured.

Youngsters Olivia Gillon and Talia Wynter qualified through their heats to the under-13 girls’ final where they then took Essex silver and bronze respectively with Olivia claiming the Eastern Counties bronze.

Under-17 Katy Rice overcame nerves to step up and take her place alongside the best in the county and finished fifth.

In the under-20 women’s race, Rebecca Jeggo won her heat in 25.94s, with Caitlin O’Reilly taking third as well as a qualifying place in the final in a new indoor PB time of 26.39s.

A four-hour wait ensued before both girls were able to take their place back on the track.

However, in the warm-up, O’Reilly felt she was unable to compete because of a slight pull to her groin.

Jeggo showed a return to form, running a very positive race from the front to finish in gold medal position and a time that broke her own championship-best performance.

Her time of 24.93s also broke her own club record and put her in the top ten in the country for her age group.

In the under-20 men’s 200m, Callum McKay qualified through the first heat in second place in 23.51s and was followed in the next heat by Charlie Dobson, who easily secured his place in the final with a run of 22.4s.

The final saw the two go head to head but Dobson’s dominance saw him outclass the field, winning in 21.40s - one tenth outside his indoor PB he set last week in Vienna.

However, it was good enough to claim a seven-year-old championship best performance and another club record.

McKay claimed his fastest time of the year so far and with it a deserved bronze medal in 23.20s.

Joe Wilkin took on the senior men and overcame a fear of the indoor 200m, having suffered a nasty injury a few years back.

This was his first time back running the tight bends and he came away with a decent time of 24.25s.

Jake Young competed in the under-20 men’s 400 but, after a blistering start and leading the field over the first 200m, he lost ground.

However, he still managed to claim an Eastern counties silver medal.