The annual LC BUCS championships took place in Sheffield and across the weekend there was fierce competition for the men’s, women’s and overall championship title. As well as wanting to retain all three titles, Loughborough was also looking to achieve as many BUCS points for the overall BUCS league table which is inclusive of all sports.
The competition began on Friday with the women’s 800m freestyle and men’s 1500m freestyle and heats for the 4x100m freestyle relays. In the distance events 3 out of 4 possible medals were taken by Loughborough swimmers with Alice Dearing and Toby Robinson winning the respective events and Emily Clarke finishing in 3rd. Sadly the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay was disqualified meaning that they could not advance to the finals on Saturday night. This meant that the retention for the women’s title would be a challenge due to the fact that relays score double points towards championship points. The men’s relay, however, finished second meaning they were safely into the final.
Saturday evening saw the beginning of Loughborough’s domination of gaining medals and breaking BUCS records. James Wilby started this trend in the 50m Breaststroke where he broke his own record which he had set earlier that day swimming 27.54 and winning gold. Immediately after Charlotte Atkinson took to the pool and followed Wilby’s example. She broke the BUCS record in the 100m butterfly (58.18) holding off the competition from Edinburgh in what proved to be a fast final. Luke Greenbank also broke a BUCS record in the 200m backstroke swimming 1.59.61 and Dan Cross finishing in 2nd. The final record Loughborough swimmers broke Saturday night was from Jocelyn Ulyett touching the wall in 2:26.26 in the 200m breaststroke. To finish the night the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay finished 2nd behind Stirling.
The success of Saturday night carried over to Sunday night with even more BUCS records broken and more medals gained. The night began with the women’s 200m butterfly which saw Charlotte Atkinson break her record from 2017 in a time of 2:09.21. Marie Wattel minutes later took to the pool in the 100m freestyle and beat the oldest BUCS record standing, swimming 54.33 and gaining another gold for Loughborough. Wilby carried his speed over from the 50m to the 100m breaststroke breaking another record in 59.61. Following suit Abbie Wood swam 2:13.84 in the 200m individual medley winning gold and setting a new record, Beth Aitchison also finished 2nd. After her victory in the 100m freestyle Marie Wattel continued her domination over the sprint events and broke the 50m butterfly record in 26.36 with Charlotte Atkinson finishing in 2nd. The final two events of the night were the 4x100m medley relays. The women’s relay was a very close race against Edinburgh which boiled down to just 0.02 at the touch with Loughborough clinching the gold. The men’s relay was to be the final record of the night and competition beating a record held by Loughborough from 2012.
After what proved to be a tough weekend of racing Loughborough retained the overall title and men’s title. The women finished in 2nd, just 7 points behind Edinburgh. Loughborough took home 12 golds, 8 silvers, 6 bronze medals, 3 para golds and broke 11 BUCS championship records. The focus now shifts towards the target meet for the cycle, with
some swimmers concentrating on the Commonwealth games, there’s still lots of #fastswimming to be had.