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Brighton secures medals at the BUCS Nationals

 

The BUCS Nationals once again returned to Sheffield, seeing over 6000 students descend on the city over the weekend of 17-19 February.

 

The University of Brighton had entries in the Badminton, Swimming, Karate, Athletics, Judo, Fencing and Trampolining categories.

After last year’s medal success in the trampolining the University of Brighton came to the championships hoping to prove that they were more than a flash in the pan. Brighton had strong performances across the categories with the highlight being Abi Jaques winning GOLD in the BUCS 1 category. Danny Hatcher just missed out on the medals coming a respectable 5th. Other members of the team completed solid routines with Hayley Pink and Jordan Gordon both competing in higher categories for the first time.

University of Brighton Trampoline Club president Kelly Crawshaw said: ‘From seeing the development of the club over the past three years, it was a proud moment for me as president and coach to watch them all support each other and for other universities to see us as high competitors.’

David Browning competed for Brighton in the fencing, coming back from a hamstring injury, David unfortunately did not progress to the later stages. He however found the whole experience great in preparing him for high level competition in the future.

Over in the pool Brighton entered two swimmers. Jade Scott swam well in both her races, 50m breaststroke in 35.1 and the 100m breaststroke in 1.18.3, coming 18th in both events. This was out of over 100 competitors. 

Dan Malamud also swam well in all three of his races, coming 11th and reserve into the final on 50m butterfly at 26.3, 23rd on 50m breaststroke at 32.1, and 25th on 50 freestyle in 24.6. All three events had over 100 participants.

The martial arts proved fruitful for Brighton with both our entrants medalling. Firstly Jessica Gordon-Brown competed in the Judo. Jess was competing in the Women (1 Kyu & Above) Under 57kg category, this was a weight category higher than normal for Jess so it presented an additional challenge. Jess however came away with the SILVER medal. In the karate we had Tegan Walsh competing for Brighton, again Tegan came away from the championships having medalled with a BRONZE in the Women’s Senior Kumite 68kg+.

Over to the indoor athletics track the athletics team had 12 students competing along with our very own mascot Panther Pete who took part in the annual BUCS mascot race. Panther Pete eased through the heats with clearly more fuel in the tank. The final was a hard fought race but Pete came a respectable 4th.


It was a successful weekend for University of Brighton and GB Heptathlete Elise Lovell (pictured at the top of this page). With the BUCS multi-event competition not taking place until later in the year, Elise entered some of the standalone disciplines. First up she qualified for the 60m hurdles final and finished 5th securing Brighton the first BUCS points of the weekend. Next she competed in her favourite event the long jump. Having gained automatic qualification in the heats, Elise secured a GOLD winning jump of 5.88m, a clear 7cm further than her nearest competitor.

Also in the field we had Joey Watson. Joey has strong pedigree having become the U23 British Champion in 2016. Using his trustworthy glide technique Joey put in a throw of 16.47m which secured him a respectable SILVER.

On the track Holly Turner (pictured far right) was entered in the 400m. Gaining the automatic qualification spot in her heat she then went on to secure BRONZE in the final with a time of 54.91, the Gold medal was secured in a time just under a second faster.

Jack Avery was one week post injury and still managed to run his fastest indoor and a fastest first season race to date. Declan Neary missed out on the finals by 0.01 of a second.

Jess, Tegan, Elise, Joey, Holly, Jack and Declan are all members of the University of Brighton Scholarship programme. This programme offers a support package to help performance athletes continue their sporting aspirations while studying. The University of Brighton Sport Performance and Fitness Officer, Katie Parker, supported and travelled with the team to Sheffield. On reflection of the championship’s success she said:

‘This weekend I was left astounded to the level of talent that the University of Brighton’s athletes hold. Their attitude towards their own performance and their team mates is incredible. All disciplines supporting each other. We had our very own Super Sunday, with two of our team qualifying for Europeans, the atmosphere was unbeatable, and I left my first BUCS tournament as the proudest coach there! I can't wait to see their journeys and how far they can all go! Great effort team!’

Summary of medallists:

Abi Jaques - Gold

Elise Lovell - Gold

Joey Watson - Silver

Jess Gordon-Brown - Silver

Holly Turner - Bronze

Tegan Walsh - Bronze