In what is always one of the most exciting weekends of the athletics calendar, BUCS Indoors was upon us once again and saw the Swansea University team make the journey up to Sheffield for the National competition.
Not only did we get some great results but it was also incredible to see the tremendous hard work and effort from the athletes, both leading up to the events and at the championships themselves.
A few last minute injury hits meant taking a slightly smaller team than expected, as well as a very young team, 39% of whom were freshers. But, nevertheless, a great three days of athletics still ensued, with a plethora of PBs and University records falling.
Every single one of our 16 athletes who competed performed amazingly. Here are a few highlights of the weekend:
As always, the competition started off with the 60m. Max Heavens impressed in the heats, comfortably booking his place into the semi-final with a SB where he improved this even further, running tantalisingly close to his PB. And whilst the final wasn’t to be this time, he shows great promise for the years to come.
Day two saw Alfie Yabsley dominate his heat to book his place in the semi-finals, with a sub 4 minute 1500m and a university BUCS Indoor record! In the semi-finals later in the day Alfie ran faster still, improving on his record, and was incredibly unlucky to miss out on a place in the final. As just a fresher, I’m sure we’ll see plenty more superb performances from him in the years to come.
Fresh off the back of being crowned Welsh Champion with a massive PB two weeks ago, Ceirion Hopkins impressed once again, smashing both the all time University record and the BUCS Indoors record in the long jump. A massive no jump in the first round would have seen him progress easily through to the final but unfortunately the red flag halted his competition there, seeing him just one place away from making the final. However, there are surely great things to come at BUCS in the future for Ceirion, and it was great to see him compete in the Swansea vest for the first time.
In the 3K, Conor Smith ran a strong race, and was another athlete finding their best ever BUCS finish. He was incredibly unlucky to miss out on the final by just one place. One week later Conor impressed yet again, taking the Welsh U20 XC title.
After a highly successful XC season, during which she earned her Wales vest, Abigayle Goodrick-Latham took on the women’s 3K and, after a very strong start and a classic AGL sprint finish, took 4th in her heat.
The men’s relay comprised of a new team featuring two returning members from last year, Max and Bradley, and the two fresh faces of Charles and Jack, who both rose to the occasion magnificently, running absolutely fantastic legs. The team finished a strong third in their heat, and with a few relay practises, the 4×1 and 4×4 will be looking dangerous in time for BUCS Outdoors.
Yet another fresher, Fynley Caudery, massively impressed and, after setting a massive PB of 4m70 a few weeks ago, he finished a close 6th overall, bowing out at his PB height and showing that there’s plenty more to come in the next few years in a Swansea vest.
For now, our attention must turn to the outdoor season with the InterVarsity match at Exeter in March approaching thick and fast, as well as with the Welsh Varsity (6th April on home soil; details to follow soon) and Outdoor BUCS on the horizon.
One thing’s for sure – this weekend has shown what a great deal we have to look forward to.
by Julia Cook