Last weekend, two teams from UoB Swimming ventured up to Sheffield to compete in the BUCS Team Championships at Ponds Forge, returning to Birmingham with the best results they could have hoped for. On Saturday, the Trophy team just missed out on qualifying for the finals, finishing in a fantastic 7th place. The girls had some smashing swims, finishing the heats in the top 5 in 8 events with Kate Alexander coming 3rd in the 200 freestyle, Kirsty Wagstaff taking the win for the 100 back, a third in the 50 back and Melissa Dolby placing 2nd in the 50 freestyle. The boys team achieved 7 PB’s, with a special mention to Will Darby who PB’d twice in his 100IM and 100back, and Luke Maunder who PB’d by 5 seconds in his 200 freestyle.
The strong start from the Trophy team handed over to the Championship team in the afternoon who determinedly fought for their well-earned place in the finals, placing in the top 5 in an astonishing 13 events. The championship team were PBing left right and centre with a total of 9 PB’s in one afternoon: great performances from Jon Bennett, Jon Fan and Ellen Keira Stone who PB’d in all of their events.
Their hard work and team spirit payed off as the championship team cruised through to the finals on Sunday. Despite the fierce competition, including a number of Commonwealth medallists, they achieved places in the top 5, in eight events, with particular merit to the girls medley and freestyle relay teams who finished in 4th and 5th position, sharpening down their time in the freestyle. Fantastic swims from Scholars Abby Smith and Jess Shaw, both placing 4th in two events each, which increased the team’s points further. All team members were stepping up to the challenge, especially Conor O’Gorman and Jon Bennett who impressively went on to PB for a second time in the finals. This year, the team consisted of swimmers from across the squads, who thrived in the opportunity and came together as one dedicated and resilient team, remarkably defending the swimming club’s title of qualifiers for Team Finals 19 times in the past 21 years, finishing in 6th place and achieving an outstanding 22 PB’s across the whole weekend. Huge congratulations to all!