It was another very busy week for the Athletics Club this week, with Indoor and Cross-Country competition seasons in full flow. The University had 12 current students competing in the National Indoor Championships held at Arena Birmingham between 9-10 February, with another 14 recent alumni also in action. The Championships also act as the trials for the European Indoor Championships Glasgow next month, where the top 2 in each event this weekend would earn selection for Great Britain – so it was an important weekend for the club.
Our standout performer was Mari Smith, taking a silver medal over 800m against world-class opposition. She now has one week to chase the European Qualifying time of 2.03.00 and secure her spot on the GB team – good luck Mari!
Elsewhere, other fantastic achievements were seen from our current students:
The athletics alumni we always expect to deliver did not disappoint either; both Sarah McDonald and Bethan Partridge took silver medals to secure their spots on the team headed to Glasgow next month.
In other news, the Birmingham Cross-Country League and Midland Women’s Cross-Country Leagues reached their climax, with final fixtures at Lilleshall and Wolverhampton respectively.
The Ladies team were crowned League Champions, in a closely fought season-long campaign with Loughborough which went all the way to the line, headed home fittingly by Captain Emma Houchell in 3rd on the day, which also secured her 3rd in the Individual season standings.
The men performed an incredible overhaul of arch rivals Loughborough, who after the first fixture had a clear 100-point lead, to sneak past them on the final day into second in the league behind local powerhouse Birchfield Harriers. Louie Boot finished 2nd overall in the Junior competition over the 4 fixtures.
Of course, these success stories wouldn’t be what they are without the fantastic team behind the scenes, and a huge thanks must go to our brilliant coaches: Luke Gunn, Dean Miller, Bud Baldaro, Matt Richards and Sally – all who lead with experience, motivation and determination. The weekend’s successes are a testament to their hard work!
This weekend sets the club up nicely for BUCS Indoor Championships at BUCS Nationals next weekend, which sees a strong team lined up with no notable absences. The club are hoping to better their 5 medals and 13 top-three finishes in 2018, and are aiming for the top 3 women’s teams and top 5 men’s teams final standings. Keep an eye of their progress on the Club’s Twitter page, and read more about BUCS Nationals here.