University of Bath athletes impress at BUCS Indoor Championships
The University of Bath athletics team claimed top-six finishes at the BUCS Indoor Championships in Sheffield last weekend, despite a number of injuries and illnesses.
Bath’s men were a fine fourth overall, while the women – who scored more points than their male counterparts – were sixth in a strong competition.
The weekend started off with the 60m heats on the Friday, where men’s team captain Owen Styler came fifth in his heat in 7.39secs and Scott Bajere breezed to victory in his in seven seconds flat.
He was the second in the semis before finishing fourth overall in 6.88, just four-hundredths of a second off his personal best.
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Women’s team captain Kirsty Warland was fourth in her 60m hurdles heat, while a new PB and a runners-up spot earned Megan Southwart a place in the final, where she came fifth.
Saturday’s 400m races saw the first full complement of Bath athletes involved, with Josh Eades winning his heat in 51.43 and Adam Taylor coming third in a season’s best time of 51.06. They then placed fifth in their respective semis.
For the women, Laura Burke and Southwart both finished runner-up in their heat, in 58.14 and 56.84 respectively, but couldn’t reach the final after placing third and fourth in their semis.
In the men’s 800m, Pete Barnshaw ran 1min 59.63 to finish fourth in his heat before placing fifth in the semi-finals.
John Bird won his heat and semi-final with ease but was pipped on the line in the final and had to settle for silver, although his great performance earned him Bath’s male athlete of the match title.
Hayley Harvey’s 2:18.29 earned her third place in the women’s heats and a place in the semi-finals, where she came sixth. Alex Hill was fourth in her heat in 2:19.60.
Rosie Clarke has been having a great indoor season so far, coming second with a new PB at the European Trials last month, so was disappointed to finish fourth in the 1,500m final having won her heat.
The longest distance indoors is the 3,000m, where both Chris Youell and Paddy Radley finished an impressive fourth and seventh respectively in the final. Youell had set a new PB of 8:40.5 to qualify.
In the field, the Bath teams were even more depleted but still had some fantastic results. The three pole vaulters all did incredibly well, with Emyr Jones clearing 4.20m to finish seventh for the men, while Anne Rees and Clare Maurer were third and fifth in the women’s event with 3.50m and 3.30m respectively.
Rees’ medal-winning performance also secured the women’s athlete of the match honours. Club chairman Cat Shin, who has been plagued by injuries, was disappointed not to reach the final.
Hannah Lewis, twice a long jump medallist at these championships, came up against a tough field and a best of 5.75m - enough to medal in the last three indoor championships - resulted in sixth position.
The relays are always the highlight of an athletics match and the atmosphere was electric as the teams lined up.
Bath’s women were disqualified in the heats of the relay but reinstated following an appeal where the video showed a legal handover and went on to win a brilliant bronze.
Meanwhile, the men had to wait with fingers crossed to see if a runners-up spot in their heat - one of eight- was enough to secure one of the six final berths. It was and Bath went on to secure fifth place overall.
PICTURES BY MERVYN CLINGAN / TAKINGPICTURES-SPORT.CO.UK