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BUCS athletics photo running

A series of Durham teams travelled down to Sheffield on 24th-26th of Feb, to compete in their respective BUCS National Finals. Read on for detailed reports from both our athletics and swimming teams.

Athletics Report

Durham University Athletics and Cross Country (DUAXC) took a 22 strong team of athletes across a variety of events to the BUCS Nationals event in Sheffield over 24-26th of February. From these athletes: 7 made individual finals, 4 scored BUCS points and 1 achieved a gold medal.

Starting with the men’s sprint team, on day 1, Ayomide Eluyera ran within 0.01s of his personal best (PB) in the men’s 60m heats, shortly followed by Matt Harris who stormed to a new PB of 6.94s to win his heat. Matt then reinforced this time with a run of 6.95s to place 4th in his semi-final. On day 3, Will Cooke ran a fantastic new PB in the heats of 400m. Following this, the men’s track captain, Evan Blackman, commenced his campaign in the 200m. He started the day winning his heat in 21.89s, making him the fastest qualifier in that round. In the early afternoon, he ran a scintillating 21.26s to win his semi-final and qualify fastest for the final by 2 tenths of a second. Finally, he ran a brilliant new PB of 21.15s to win the gold medal and national title for the team.

Onto the women’s sprint team, day 1 saw Amy Garroch and Charlotte Rigby take part in the 60m heats; Charlotte running a swift new season’s best. Quickly following this, Holly Brotherton ran a brilliant new PB in the heats of the 60m hurdles. On day 3, Olivia James put down a solid performance to place 4th in her 400m heat. Shortly following this, Isla Innes placed third in a strong 200m heat, with a time that would have seen her reach the semi-finals if she had of been in a different heat. Women’s track captain Kira Nygren also ran well in her 200m heat.

The field team saw action across all three days of the championships. To start, Sam Gorman threw a solid 10.64m in the men’s shot-put qualifying, quickly followed by Maia Wilkinson with a strong performance in the women’s triple jump qualifying. Later on, Amy Garroch threw a fantastic new PB in the women’s shot-put qualifying. The following day saw Maia Wilkinson back in action in the women’s long jump qualifying alongside teammate Aisha Quartey-Davies, who narrowly missed out on a new PB. With high jump and pole vault, certain standards must be achieved for athletes to even compete at BUCS. In the high jump qualifying, Sam Gorman jumped a strong 1.83m to place 16th overall. In the pole vault, the tough qualifying standards meant that the competitions were held as straight finals, with field captain Sam Keys in the men’s and Lily Smith in the women’s placing 15th and 11th respectively.

Finally, the middle-distance team had a fantastic weekend. On day 1, Ben Smith and Charlie Crick comfortably qualified for the men’s 800m semi-finals, with Maddie George placing 6th in a strong heat in the women’s 800m. Day 2 saw a brilliant run from Edward Leech to qualify for the semi-finals of the men’s 1500m. This success was quickly followed by Cameron Ross Boyek and Alex Kilby, qualifying in the men’s 3000m final, with Jasmine Wood making her indoor racing debut straight afterwards to qualify for the women’s 3000m final.

To finish off the day, Ben and Charlie faced off against fierce competition in the 800m semi-finals, with Charlie unfortunately missing out on the final by 0.15 of a second. Day 3 started with an outstanding run from Edward in a strong 1500m semi-final, to qualify for the afternoon’s final with a PB of 3:57.77. The afternoon saw all four finalists put together fantastic races, with Cameron placing 4th, Edward 6th, Jasmine 10th and Alex 12th in their respective finals.

At the end of the weekend, the team points total was 18, with the men’s team placing 8th overall out of 98 institutions. More importantly, 6 athletes achieved new personal best performances, with many more achieving seasons bests and competitive placings. Finally, a special mention to Evan Blackman winning gold in the men’s 200m. An outstanding performance to conclude a weekend full of successes for the team.


Swimming Report

20 Team Durham swimmers headed to Sheffield for the 10th annual BUCS National Championships! All swimmers raced incredibly well in all their events and many PBs were achieved.

Fourth year Lucy Sharp had a very impressive weekend, coming away with three gold medals
 in the S15 category, in the 50m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 100m butterfly. Fresher Adam
Tabernacle placed in the final of all 3 of his individual events, breaking the university club records in all events (50m freestyle, 100m freestyle and 200m freestyle). Third year Brodie Judge also secured a place in all 3 of her individual event finals (50m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 100m butterfly), whilst breaking the women’s 100m freestyle record in the first leg of the relay. The women’s 200m butterfly record was broken as well by fresher Rebecca Augier.

The mixed medley relay (Brodie Judge, Flora Forrest, Lucas Dyson-Diaz, Adam Tabernacle)
smashed the university club record, set only the previous year, and finished a very impressive
10th place. The women’s (Brodie Judge, Flora Forrest, Rebecca Augier, Grace Maskell) and
men’s (Jonathan Mullet, Lucas Dyson-Diaz, Arvin Rezai-Kalantary, Adam Tabernacle) 4x100m
freestyle relays both broke club records in the heats, securing a place in the B final on
Saturday evening. The women’s medley relay also managed to qualify for the B final on
Sunday night.

A very successful weekend overall for DUSC swimmers, achieving a total of 7 club records
and 9 B finals.


Badminton Report

Durham University Badminton Club took 6 women and 9 men to compete in the 10th BUCS Nationals Individual championships at Sheffield from the 24th-26th of February. The team had some great results, with players winning all three qualifying rounds to the top 16/128 qualifiers and into the main draw of 32 in women’s singles, men’s singles and women’s doubles!

  • Nilesh Wijesekera returned from placement to give an amazing singles performance, winning his first two games comfortably and a high tension 3-set game to reach the main draw.
  • Second year Megan Diggle had a tough second game against a York 1s player, but played incredibly to win 21-19 13-21 21-16 in the end, followed by another win progressing her to the main draw.
  • Megan then went on to reach the main draw again with Durham's women’s captain Melissa Lin, winning the crucial Q3 round 21-15 17-21 21-19, and only narrowly missing out in their first main draw match by a few points in the main draw round of 16.

Overall, it was a great weekend filled with high quality badminton and successes, as well as an amazing supportive team atmosphere!