mike ward athletics

Multiple Medals at BUCS Cross-Country

BUAC absolutely stormed the BUCS XC championships, for coming away with two team and one individual medal, while 2 current students and 1 alumni have earned GB vests for the World University Champs in March.

The day started with the men’s team race. It was an incredibly dramatic affair as 3 teams were separated by only a few points with 2k to go. The finish places of the 4 scorers are combined to determine the winning university. Birmingham packed incredibly well with Mike Ward (9th), James Gormley (13th), Andy Heyes (15th) and Charlie Davis (19th) for a well fought team silver medal. This is the first time in four years that the men have earned and team medal, and this is even more impressive given the tough field this year.

Men’s A race scores:
1. St Mary’s (41 points)
2. Birmingham (56 points)
3. Loughborough (60 points)

The ladies team race was arguably even tougher than the mens. Birmingham were always going to have a big fight against very strong teams from Loughborough and St Mary’s, but the strong quartet were looking promising and  were firmly in contention for a silver medal going into the last lap. But this was before disaster struck. Amelia Quirk, who was in 3rd at the time, fell and was unable to finish. This was an instant 25+ point swing. Unfortunately despite their best effort, the ladies team finished 5th team with scoring quartet of Niamh Brown (11th), Sabrina Sinha (20th) and Kate Palfreeman-Watt (26th). The side were gutted at the end and everyone was left with the feeling of ‘what could have been?’

Ladies A race scores:
1. Loughborough (24 points)
2. St Mary’s (28 points)
3. Cambridge (41 points)
4. Oxford (42 points)
5. Birmingham (57 points)

In the Ladies B race Birmingham displayed the incredible strength in depth with a stunning 9 girls in the top 20 places. They were led home by first year Kate O’Neill, who earned a brilliant bronze medal despite this being her first trip to the championships. She was backed up by other scorers, Maisie Grice (6th) and Yasmin Austridge (10th), and the ladies picked up a team silver medal.

Ladies B Race scores:
1. Loughborough (7 points)
2. Birmingham (19 points)
3. Oxford (31 points)

Finally in the men’s B race, fellow first years, Ollie Newman and Joe Hudson ran fantastically for 5th and 12th respectively. Unfortunately not quite enough for a team medal as they came 6th

Overall it was a great day and the club deservedly came home with three medals (which could have easily been four) and a very impressive third place overall. They also had numerous first years running, who will hopefully use their experience this season to improve even further next year. To keep up to date with all athletic’s future successes, be sure to follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

Total 2020 Cross-Country BUCS Points:

1. St Mary’s 50 points
2. Loughborough 42 points
3. Birmingham 19 points
4. Cambridge 17 points
5. Oxford 16 points
6. Cardiff Met 14 points

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