Bristol and West athletes Emily Diamond and Mike Wilsmore both struck gold at the 2012 Edition of the British University and College Student (BUCS) Championships in the Olympic Park over the Bank Holiday weekend (4th to 7th May 2012) in a test of the Olympic Athletics Stadium.
Emily Diamond never looked troubled as she progressed majestically through the rounds of the 200 metres. The cold conditions throughout the four days of competition were never conducive to fast times but Emily would have been pleased as she won heat 6 in 24.25, semi-final 3 in 24.04 and then the final in 23.93.
Mike Wilsmore’s progress was almost as assured as Emily’s as a second in heat 5 in 3:54:25 was followed by a semi-final win in 3:50:56 and an excellent tactical race in the final saw him come home to win in a PB of 3:46:95; thus adding the 2012 outdoor title to his 2011 Indoor title. Behind him Steve Mitchell was up and down through the field having run the first 400 in last place before moving to the front at the bell and then fading to sixth in 3:48:82.
In the Men’s 800 Metres Andrew Woods ran three great rounds opening his account with a win in heat 5 to qualify as fastest qualifier for the semi-finals with 1:54.45. In a tough semi Andrew produced a new PB of 1:51:92 to finish just .18 behind one of the favourites Joe Durrant. In the final another great race saw Andrew in the mix but another PB and a lunge for the line couldn’t secure a medal as he finished fourth in 1:51:46.
Perhaps the busiest club athlete of the championships was Scott Bajere. Scott ran 10:67 to win heat 7 of the 100 metres before recording a PB of 10:59 when finishing second in semi-final 2. Scott returned to run 10:66 for sixth place in the final. In the 200 metres Scott won heat 12 in 21:84 before finishing third in semi-final 3 in 20:78. Unfortunately Scott was disqualified in the final. All this plus sprint relay legs for Bath University gave Scott a very busy weekend.
Cy Knibb’s group had five runners in the championships with Aoife Kelly (Dacorum & Tring), Will Hartley and John Brierly running for Bristol University and Louise Card and Alex Fields representing the University of the West of England. Aoife survived a shock in the first round when she stubbed the track and fell as she tired at the end of the 1,500 metres. She picked herself up to run 4:52:97 to make the semi-final where she kept her feet to record a big PB of 4:43:00 as she finished ninth. Will Hartley ran 55:58 for fifth in a very fast heat and then had to wait while his position as a fastest qualifier for the semi-finals was confirmed – someone he was temporarily lost between his result and the coordinated list of heat finishers. Eventually he received his rightful semi-final place where he finished fifth in a PB of 54:85 to narrowly miss a place in the final.
The strict rules for individual events meant that John Brierly competed in the high hurdles – not his specialist event – as Will was the 400 hurdles representative and he finished seventh in his heat in 17.96 a PB. Later he had the experience (probably of his athletic career) when 40,000 were let into the stadium for the test event the first race was a heat of the Men’s 4 x 400 metres relay and John took the third leg for Bristol University in the lead – which he held throughout. A battle on the final leg saw Bristol University narrowly run out of it by 8 hundredths of a second but the runners up slot was good enough to make the final where a false start (not by John) blew any chances of further glory. Alex Fields finished second in heat 4 in 50.78 to qualify for the semi-final where a 51.87 clocking saw him finish seventh.
Yannick Budd competed for Loughborough in the High Hurdles and had a great start to the competition with a 14.22 PB as he finished second in heat 2 and into a head-wind. In the semi-finals fourth place in 14.34 was good enough to secure a place in the finals despite being slow out of the blocks and into hurdle 1 but with really tight legs from the earlier rounds Yannick chose not to start the final due to the risk of potential injury
It was not all good news for club athletes as Hayley Pitman finished ninth in Pool ‘A’ of the high jump competition with a 1 metre 60 centimetre clearance – well below her best of 1 metre 75 centimetres which had seen her take silver in the Indoor equivalent of these championships. Hayley had been nursing an ankle injury and was clearly below her best – we hope her decision to compete does not have long lasting repercussions for the remainder of the season.
With Whitehall regulars Gwenno Brown tenth in the final of the Women’s 5k in a PB 17:06.34 after another big PB of 17:18.15 for seventh in her heat, John Ashcroft ran a PB 3:51:87 in the semi-finals after a 3:58:24 third place in his heat and Louise Card (UWE) ran 62.55 for eighth in her heat in the Women’s 400 metres there was great representation from athletes with a Bristol & West connection.
In the field Catherine Beatty competing for the University of Bath finished sixth in the Women’s Hammer with a best throw of 52 metres 94 centimetres.
Other club athletes competing in the event included Christian Stanley who was a member of the Bristol University 4 x 100 metre relay team which unfortunately dropped the baton on the third change over in their heat.
Full results can be found at http://www.bucs.org.uk/page.asp?section=16558§ionTitle=Results+and+News