Golden performance at student championships
GOLDEN girl Emily Madden Forman led the way for Stratford Athletics Club at the British University & College Sports (BUCS) Outdoor Championships held over three days in Manchester.
Nine club members took part – six of them for the first time – flying the flag for seven different universities at the event which attracts numerous young British track and field stars, many with international pedigrees.
The changeable weather did little to help the competitors and Madden Forman (Manchester Met) had to hang around in the qualifying round of the high jump while others tried to reach the qualifying standard for the final. After 30 minutes trying to stay warm and dry, she booked her place with a single jump.
In slightly better conditions, she started the final at a modest 1.66m opening height and then worked her way through until she was the last women standing and took the gold medal after clearing 1.75.
Catherine Reynolds (Sheffield), competing for the first time at BUCS, surprised many of those watching by executing her plan to ‘sensibly’ run in her 400m heat and, with a composed run, she qualified second to reach the semi-final in 57.57s.
She then produced another perfectly controlled run to finish with the fourth fastest time of 56.59s from the three semis which was just outside her PB and in the final, when she was up against some seasoned junior internationals, she set a PB of 55.91s to finish fifth.
Imogen Sheppard (Birmingham), who is also the team manager, ran in the heats of the 4x400m relay, comfortably qualifying for the final where they finished second behind the dominant Loughborough team. Birmingham also finished second in the team event behind Loughborough.
Georgie Campbell (Birmingham) was drafted into their team just two days before the event and with a typically dogged 4.43.18 run in the 1500m, she reached the semi-final where she finished 9th and 17th overall on times and well inside the top half of original starters in the heats.
Will Humphreys (Plymouth) has just returned to the club and he ran the 200m in 24.27s which was well inside his PB.
The horizontal jumpers had a mixed weekend and with Nick Butler (Sheffield) hitting the take-off board consistently in the triple jump to bounce his way to a massive new PB of 13.23m and 14th overall, just 10cm from reaching the final.
However, in the Long Jump, with a fluctuating tail wind, his run up was out of kilter, and he managed one jump of 5.46m. Just behind him was Alex Powell (Sheffield Hallam) who is just coming back to competition after injury. His best was 5.30m.
Millie Leighton (Loughborough) jumped well in her triple jump heat and finished with 11.32m in a cluster of athletes who jumped similar distances and so Millie finished just outside the qualifying positions for the final.
Acelin Smith (Cardiff Met) competed in the Javelin in a high-class field and finished 14th with a best throw of 51.29m.