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Campaign Season - An enticing start to BUACs indoor conquest!

Anticipation antɪsɪˈpeɪʃ(ə)n noun - the action of anticipating something; expectation or prediction. "her eyes sparkled with anticipation" Keeping in line with the infamous BUCS cross country countdown I thought I would begin this report with a vaguely related Oxford dictionary definition, leading me to the title as seen above. The run up to the BUCS indoors championships has produced great suspense, excitement and of course anticipation as athletes battled it out for spots in all events. A great thing for the club with such fierce competition forcing athletes to produce their best performances for selection. It’s therefore been a busy indoor season with a number of great achievements. The season began with a strong contingent setting forth on the weekend of the 6th of January with notable performances including Freddie Owsley breaking debut to compete in his first multievent competition, Tor Bennett Williams and Rory Keen running a pair of stellar 600's in Manchester and James Gormley running a 3K worthy of England call up to Bratislava. Many others competed including Hannah Jones, Amy Gandhi, Ashleigh Beaven, Alex Parkinson, Phil Bowden, Denzell Owusu and Mark Cottam. The 12th of January saw conquest turn to the Northern Championships where Rory Keen and Charlotte Paterson took Silver and Bronze in the 400m and 60m respectively, whilst talisman endurance runner James Gormley tussled with alumni James McCrae in a last lap extravaganza in the 1500m before returning the next day to run the 800m taking Silver in a tactical race among strong competition. This momentum carried forth to the weekend of the 19th where athletes travelled to compete in Cardiff where Jake Burkey jumped 6.93m in the Long Jump, Freddie Owsley ran a PB in the 60m of 7.03s and Yvette took the gold in both the 60m and 200m at the south west championships incorporated into the open meet. Lee valley was also ripe for campaign the same weekend as Laura Zialor jumped 12.42m in the Triple Jump and I myself ran 49.22 in the 400m both to take silver medals in the southern championships. The weekend of the 27th saw three of our finest, namely James Gormley, Emily Thompson and Mari Smith don England vests to compete in Bratislava yielding a Gold and Silver double for Mari and Emily respectively whilst training partner Kate Seary took gold in the 1500m at the Welsh championships. Mark Cottam, Jack Hocking, Ryan Lowe and Rory Keen also battled it out for 400m BUCs spots at Sheffield’s Festival of Athletics where Jack Hocking coming back from injury ran a phenomenal 48.3, running in lane two for the whole race - 47s indoors soon come! Charlotte Orton also returned from injury to challenge for the woman’s 60m. We now come to the main event, the finale, le plat principal. Yes that's correct Intervarsity! The last chance for athletes to prove their worth and gain their spot in the BUCS team. Planned in full by our fantastic captain Ashleigh Beaven and myself (vice), the day proceeded smoothly with not a single athlete unable to compete in their desired event with transport arrangements going according to plan. That is of course for all other than elusive 1st year Jonty Mitchell. Field: The field began with Laura Zialor achieving a stunning intervarsity meet record in the high jump (1.78m), as she took the win in the high jump alongside Jamie Anderson.Jamie Worman and Jake Burkey - who was plagued with cramp, flew from the long jump board all under the stern gaze of coach Jade Surman. Jonny Currie also showed face in the Pole Vault and Grace Adeleye achieved greatness in the Shot. Track: On the track "beginner" sprinter Denzell Owusu defended a challenge from Ryan Lowe for the 60m BUCs spot to run 7.05s, a PB by 0.15 seconds! The woman's saw Hannah Jones, Ashleigh Beaven, Yvette Westwood, Charlotte Orton, Alice Odunaiya and Liv Woodward all compete. The 200m saw Ryan Lowe then run his way into a BUCS spot against a strong field. The 400m then saw Emily Hack come back from three years out of racing alongside Ellie Ravenscroft to do Team MO proud whilst Issy Boffey ran an unbelievable 54.3s to win the A-race in style, ranking her 7th in the UK to date (06/02/19) and adding to her Southern gold medal achieved 2 weeks prior. She’ll be joining Mari Smith in the 800m at BUCS, who currently ranks 5th in the UK for 2019. In the 800m Luke Jones re-established himself as one of our top 800m specialists in his season opener whilst Maisie *watermelon* Grice came home with second in the woman's. The 1500m then saw Kate Seary walk away with a win, looking never in doubt that she would cross the line first. The men's was a race of such excitement seldom seen these days and a treat for all spectators as our very own Sergio Argul and Shreyas Kanyady cantered around the indoor lanes. In total the woman’s team won the match with daylight whilst the men's team reduced by late drop outs came a strong second to old rival Cardiff Met. Good luck to all club members in the last month of indoors and a huge well done to the cross country team who achieved a woman's silver and men's sixth place led by first year Amelia Quirk who came second herself individually - one to watch for the future. Praise must also go to Emma Houchell and Jethro McGraw for their exemplary example as team captains. Per Ardua ad Alta, through efforts to heights.

A pleasure as always,

Mark Cottam.

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