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Swimmers seal hat-trick as Rugby ensure National One status

It was a successful weekend for Loughborough’s student-athletes on a variety of different fronts, with our athletes, rugby players and swimmers all having something to shout about.

Our swimmers stole the show however securing a magnificent hat-trick of titles at the BUCS Team Championships, winning the Championship, Trophy and Shield as they put their opposition to the sword.

Returning from Commonwealth Games duty, gold medallists James Wilby and Sarah Vasey were in action helping guide their teams to victory, which helped ensure all three pieces of silverware would be heading back to the East Midlands.

Back on home soil, our men’s rugby team were in action on the 1st XV pitch, a crunch game against Darlington Mowden Park drawing in quite the crowd. With the side in African Violet’s National One status still hanging in the balance they knew they needed a big result against a side sitting second in the table, or they would have to hope other results went their way.

Getting off to the perfect start Loughborough went across the line to score first and a penalty shortly after saw them 8-0 to the good. Mowden Park battled back however, scoring a try of their own to leave the score line reading 8-7 at the interval.

The game remained a tight one until the final quarter when the visitors scored their second try of the game to take the lead for the first time, 11-17. A penalty brought the hosts back into the game, but they couldn’t quite find a winner as Mowden Park ran in another to ultimately kill the game. A penalty ensured the students would secure a losing bonus point, as the news arrived that Coventry’s 38 – 21 victory over Hull Ionians had ensured Loughborough’s place in National League One for the 2018/19 campaign.

Later in the day at the Paula Radcliffe Stadium, the Athletics BUCS Trials meeting reached its climax, the fixture also incorporating the BUCS 10,000m Championships. Stepping up in front of his home crowd Joe Wilkinson shattered his personal best to secure bronze in the men’s race with a fine 30.17.61 effort.

All that leaves Loughborough sitting pretty at the top of the BUCS table, comfortably clear of second place Durham as the season draws to a close. Next weekend will see our athletics and rowing squads going for glory at their respective championships.