Swimmers rise to the challenge at the 2018 BUCS National Championships
The University of Manchester achieved an impressive 10th place finish in the final standings of the 2018 BUCS Long Course Swimming Championships, with 58 points – the best outcome since 2014 when Manchester placed 8th. A massive improvement on overall 28th in 2017, this result matches the success from the BUCS Short Course Championships last November.
Jamie Ingram put in a strong performance, qualifying for the Men’s 100m Butterfly final in 10th. A stand out swimmer from the Short Course Championships, the Sports Scholar substantially improved from the heats to finish 5th with a time of 55.57 and just 0.23 short of the bronze medal.
Competing in the gruelling long distance events, Bailey Hairsine showed no sign of slowing down. He placed 6th in the Men’s 1500m Freestyle (16:31.99), 8th in the Men’s 400m Freestyle (4:11.84) and 9th in the Men’s 400m Individual Medley (4:45.89). Ashley Hogg joined him in the 1500m Freestyle, where he touched in 9th (16:56.40) and also claimed all important points for the team.
The Men’s 50m Butterfly saw Jacob Lea proceed to the final. Qualifying 10th from the heats, Jacob stopped the clock in 25.21 and climbed two places to finish in 8th.
Both the Men’s and Women’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay teams performed well, together advancing into their respective “B” finals. The Men’s team of Jamie Ingram, Afonso Sequeira, Bailey Hairsine and Jacob Lea finished 16th in the heats and cemented this position in the final. The Women’s equivalent team, comprised of Pooja Gupta, Denise Gogu, Charlotte Manser and Frances Garnett, slipped through the heats in overall 20th. The first UoM Women’s relay to make a BUCS final since 2015, the team jumped three places in the last session of the Championships to finish 17th.
Para-Swimmers Grace Harvey and Rosie Bancroft also won crucial points across the Women’s multi-disability events. Following on from her SM7 European Record set at last Novembers BUCS Short Course Championships, Grace Harvey took gold in the multi-disability 200m Individual Medley in a time of 3:17.82 and 617 points. She also won silver in the 400m Freestyle (5:43.75; 658 points) and placed 4th in the 100m Backstroke (1:33.94; 651 points).
With two silver medals from the BUCS Short Course Championships, Rosie Bancroft added bronze to her tally in the 50m Freestyle. She touched in a time of 32.28 against a competitive field, earning 609 points.
“I’m absolutely amazed with the performances of the team this weekend,” says Women’s Captain, Frances Garnett. “Especially the girls’ medley relay team. Everyone did fantastically well, both in the pool and cheering each other along on poolside.”
The Championships saw reigning champions Loughborough University triumph with a convincing win over second placed University of Edinburgh and third placed University of Stirling. The University of Bath were just five points shy of a top three finish.
Over 6000 students from universities and colleges across the country converged on Sheffield to compete at the multi-sport BUCS Nationals weekend, with Swimming contested alongside Indoor Athletics, Badminton, Fencing, Karate, Climbing, Rifle Shooting and Judo.
Held at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, competition spanned an intense three days of racing in the Olympic sized pool from Friday the 16th to Sunday the 18th of February.
The Championships is biggest event on the university swimming calendar and provided an opportunity for University of Manchester swimmers to compete against both Olympic and Paralympic Medallists, which this year featured the likes of Duncan Scott and Hannah Russell.
However, there is little rest for our swimmers, with the annual charity gala “Quest for the Crest” rapidly approaching on Saturday the 10th of March. Run by the University of Manchester Swimming Club, universities are invited to compete in a fun afternoon of races followed by a curry and night out in Manchester.
In recent years, the Brain Tumour Charity, Diabetes UK and Bloodwise have all benefited from this event and thousands of pounds have been raised for numerous organisations in the past.
The chosen charity for 2018 is Barnabus, a local charity committed to improving the lives of homeless people living on the streets of Manchester. Creating support plans which are individual to each person, Barnabus provide both financial and tenancy support to the homeless. They also work alongside landlords to help people move off the streets and into permanent homes.
If you’d like to support UoM Swimming Club and donate to this worthy cause, you can do so at the following website: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/manchester-swimming.
Elsewhere, The Christie Cup will return to Liverpool on Wednesday the 18th of April. Manchester will hope to take victory over the University of Leeds and the University of Liverpool across multiple sports in a fierce battle of the north. Also left on the university swimming calendar is the BUCS Team Championships, where Manchester will be aiming to end a successful year on a high.