Loughborough men’s and women’s squads comfortably retained their respective outdoor team titles at Bedford, to complete a successful year of BUCS team competition – 5 of the 6 titles coming the way of the purple machine.
The men were especially dominant winning by almost 140 points – 195pts to nearest challenger Brunel’s 59. Whilst the women, after a series of late high profile withdrawals, were a little more challenged over the first two days, a very strong last day saw them pull away to win clearly with 111 points, aided by a superb display of endurance running by Jess Judd, who fought hard to hold off defending champion Mhari Hendry in the 800m, out-leaning the Scot by 1/100th if a second, before returning an hour later to claim the 5000m title despite being forced through needless bureaucracy to run in the B race of this event. Front running solo, she clocked an excellent 15.55.40 having lapped the entire field to run a time some 14 seconds quicker than the winner of the A race, achieving a European u23 championship qualifying time in the process.
Taylor Campbell set a new Championship and personal best in winning the men’s hammer with 73.40m, also a European u23 championship qualifier, as again the throwers weighed in heavily to the points total; in the women’s equivalent Caterine Beatty led a Loughborough 1-2 from Meghan Larkins, whilst Kathryn Woodcock also took gold in the women’s discus with 47.64, just shy of her recently set new PB. First year student George Armstrong claimed title in the men’s discus with 52.04m
Behind Essex’s emerging Javelin star Harry Hughes, the Loughborough quartet of Greg Millar, Steve Turnock, Dominic Allen and Tom Norton shut out the next four places, as Kerry Murch returning from injury took a welcome Bronze in the women’s even with team mate Sarah De Kremer in 6th. American Post graduate student Urina Harrell claimed silver in the Women’s shot to ad to her indoor gold.
In the para events Loughborough throwers also scored heavily, Amy Wearing completing the ambulant shot and disc double, whilst Josh Bain completed the identical double of the men’s side, with Ben Jones taking 3rd and 4th in the same events.
On the track there were impressive victories for Jonny Monk in the 800m – whom after injuries disrupted years by-passed 1.50 and 1.49 seconds altogether to run an excellent PB of 1.48.68 just in front of club chair James McMurray 1.49.27 – and Euan Dixon Earle who battled through the weekends strong sprints headwinds to take the 110H title with 14.67
Tom Somers ran below 47 seconds for the first time in his career with 46.92, behind Bath’s Cameron Chalmers’ big one lap break through victory in 45.71, in a re3pet of the Indoor championships finishing positions. whilst Jamie Williamson 3.49.08 and Pat Dever 14.16.40 also secured excellent silver medals in the 1500m and 5000m respectively.
Indoor 60m champion Adam Thomas and Caleb Downes finished 3rd and 4th respectively in the men’s 100m, whilst Zac Shaw completed an impressive 100m and 200m para sprint double. Steeplechase duo Jayme Rossiter and Harry Lane also featured strongly for 4th and 5th places.
Montez Blair completed an indoor/outdoor High jump double, winning with a 2.15m clearance , whilst in the women’s event, Poppy Lake narrowly missed out on the medals despite a solid 1.75m clearance, as did Jack Phipps 4th in the Men’s Pole Vault . Mary Elock (5.88m) had to settle for silver in the women’s Long jump, despite jumping further than her winning distance last year.
There was however gold for Konstantinos Kamaras in possibly his last ever competition, in front of yet another medal for Ben Jones in silver as they battled out the para Long jump positions.
Women’s captain Nessa Millet claimed a good bronze in the 400m hurdles and led off the victorious 4x 400m team along with Tash Allin, Mia Spence and Matilda Rainsborough to edge out a strong Bath quartet. Whilst a great finish from Scott Barker just overhauled the East London team to claim silver medals for himself Shawn Wight, Peter D’Ath and Ricardo Cirillo in the men’s long relay.
Technically speaking the championships are not over as the 10,000m races have been deferred to the Highgate meeting later in the month, but with such great all round contributions for the two squads , the crowd is very much on the pitch.
*Provisional Team Points (*not including the 10k races yet to come)
1st Loughborough 195pts
2nd Brunel 59pts
3rd Cardiff Met 53 pts
4th Birmingham 45pts
1st Loughborough 111pts
2nd Cardiff Met 56pts
3rd East London 53pts
4th eq Bath & Birmingham 43pts