Trio among winners on final day of BUCS Championships action in Bedford
With most of the finals taking place on the final day of competition, day three of the BUCS Championships provided plenty of thrills and spills with many favourites living up to expectations and many new faces emerging on the top of the podium.
Isobel Pooley (Nottingham) successfully took her fourth consecutive BUCS title in the high jump, clearing 1.85m on the first attempt to set a new CBP. With a PB of 1.91m, the 21-year-old is now looking ahead to qualifying for the European Championships and Commonwealth Games later this summer.
Another athlete hoping to be at the major international championships is sprint hurdler Lawrence Clarke. Fourth at the 2012 Olympic Games, the Bath University student ran sparingly in 2013, but showed he is on his way back to full fitness with a 13.75 clocking ahead of Bath teammate David King. GB heptathlete Karla Drew (Sheffield Hallam) took the women’s 100m hurdles in 13.70.
Hanna Tarver (Cambridge) went one better than her silver from last year to take the 800m title. In a highly competitive field, Tarver led from gun to tape and was duly rewarded with a PB of 2:04.28 and the gold medal.
“I always planned to run my own race, as I run best that way. With 300m to go I felt I was being pushed but I managed to hold on for victory. I now plan to race at the Oxford versus Cambridge Varsity match and the Loughborough International,” said the 20-year-old. Katie Snowden (Nottingham) took silver and Georgia Bell (Birmingham) bronze.
Gemma Kersey (Middlesex) took the 1500m from Carolyn Plateau (Loughborough), Beth Potter (St Mary’s) won the 5000m, while Iona Lake (Birmingham) took the 2000m steeplechase.
In the men’s distance events, last year’s European junior 1500m champion Jake Wightman (Loughborough) honed his speed with a 1:49.70 800m victory, while French Erasmus student Adam Guillame (Birmingham) took the 1500m. Steve Mitchell (Cardiff Met) made it a 2014 indoor/outdoor double by adding the 5000m title to the 3000m title he won indoors.
The modest PGCE student explained: “I’m really pleased, as it is a great way to finish my BUCS career. I planned to go through 3000m fairly comfortably and then use my middle distance background and it worked out well. I plan to step up to 5000m or even steeplechase this year and will race the UK Champs and try and knock a big chunk off my time from today, but first of all I want to concentrate on finishing my PGCE, as that has been taking up a lot of my time.” Alex Teuten (Southampton) took a comfortable victory in the 3000m steeplechase.
Both 200m sprint events made exciting viewing and were won by a mere one hundredth of a second in each case. Jordan Kirby-Polidore (Loughborough) came out on top in the men’s event, winning in 21.55 from Antonio Infantino (King’s).
Reflecting on the race, Kirby-Polidore revealed: “Going into it, I knew Antonio had just come back from running well in the US so I knew I had a race on my hands. It was my first outdoor BUCS so I was happy with the win. I managed to react well but after that my first six to eight steps were really poor. I didn’t start running till after my drive phase so I had a lot of catching up to do, but fortunately I managed to pull through at the end so I’m happy. Now I am hoping to improve my PB.”
Hannah Thomas (Cardiff Met) took the women’s in 24.46 from Mica Moore (Cardiff).
Niall Flannery (Loughborough) took his fourth BUCS 400m hurdles title with 50.13, while Brunel’s Aisha Naibe-Way took the women’s equivalent in 59.01.
In the flat one lap events, Michael Warner (Nottingham) took top honours in 47.78, while Amy Allock (Loughborough) repeated her BUCS indoor title with another victory here in 53.41.
Elsewhere in the field, Benji Pearson (Loughborough) took the javelin with 72.61m, Angela Barrett (UCL) won the triple jump with 12.80m, Adam McMullen (Ulster) took the long jump with 7.38m, Simi Pam (Bristol) won the shot with 13.00m and Michael Painter (Cambridge) won the hammer with 62.24m.
» The May 8 issue of AW will include more in-depth BUCS coverage including reports, pictures and results