Students from Bristol & West Athletic Club competed for a variety of Universities over the weekend 30 April to 2 May 2011 in the British Universities Track & Field Championships at Bedford International Arena and in doing so experienced the highs and lows of our sport. As usual for these championships the weather was bright and sunny but windy and a strong wind on day one got progressively stronger as the championships wore on.
Highlight of the three days must have been Yannick Budd’s bronze medal in the Men’s High Hurdles. A 14.91 third place in his heat saw him progress to the final where he held his nerve as those around him clattered hurdles and three athletes failed to finish. Although his 15.33 was slower than his heat I am sure Yannick will be delighted with his bronze medal as a first year student at Loughborough.
At the other end of the scale Emily Diamond (also Loughborough) started her 100 metre campaign with a solid 12.07 to win heat 3. In the semi final Emily was again moving smoothly into a strong head wind to win her semi in 12.33 but there was an indication just short of the line that all was not well. She gamely appeared for the final looking very fetching in the most colourful array of strapping that stretched from neck to toe in pink and blue but she pulled up almost immediately. We wish her a speedy recovery from the injury.
In the Men’s 800 metres Chris Dodd (Bristol University) was second in heat 1 in 1:55.6 before being knocked out when finishing eighth in a very fast semi – Chris’ time was 1:58.41. Chris’ club and university colleague John Brierly was also in heat 1 but was eliminated – finishing sixth in 2.02.4. Also in the 800 metres Josh Bagnall (Warwick) ran 2:04.2 when finishing sixth in heat 3.
In the 1,500 metres for men both Andy Woods (Bristol University) and Harry Webb (Brunel University) progressed to the semi-finals; Andy finishing third in heat 3 in 4.01.47 after Harry had won the first heat in 4.02.6. Both were drawn in the second semi final where Harry finished seventh in 3.54.21 whilst Andy finished tenth in 4.05.50. Harry’s time was fast enough to get him into the final where James Shane (Anglia Ruskin) produced the only true run endurance race of the championships to lead from gun to tape in a fast 3.44.90 given the really windy conditions. Harry gave the race 100% but faded to finish eleventh in 3.55.22 – however, two clockings well under 4 minutes was a good start to his summer campaign.
In the women’s 1,500 metres Hannah Alderson ran despite having several week’s disruption through niggles and although her eighth place in 4.55.42 in heat 3 qualified her for the semi-finals she decided not to risk aggravating her foot injury and get further treatment before racing again.
The only club representative in the longer races was Imogen Ainsworth (Bristol University) in the women’s 5,000 metres. After winning her heat in 18.20.97, Imogen finished a disappointed sixth in the final in 17.45.38.
Bristol & West’s sole representative in the field events was Ding Yang (Birmingham University). Ding finished ninth in 6.75 and here the strong, gusting wind gave athletes problems getting their run-up right.