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Medals at BUCS outdoors


 This weekend saw the best of University athletics come together in Bedford. The BUCS Outdoor Championships took place between 29th April & 1st May at Bedford international Stadium.

The athletics team sent a squad to represent University of Brighton, including 6 scholarship athletes, Declan Nearly, Elise Lovell, Holly Turner, Jack Avery, Joey Watson & Nicole Taylor.

Day One


Declan Neary and Sebastian Cirillo took part in the men’s 1500. Seb stepped up first in the 2nd heat finishing 9th in 4:10.54, unfortunately missing out on qualification. Dec came out hard in his heat qualifying for the final (4:03.67), his heat was one of the fastest. When asked about his performance he said:

“I knew I was in a tough heat, so I went hard knowing it was my best chance of qualifying and luckily it paid off."

Jack Avery entered the 400h Hurdles & 400 flat, since his injury he hs found it hard to find his rhythm. He drew lane two for 400h making it tight on the bends. His 58.11 finish (equal season best) left him in 5th short of qualifying. The 400 flat with tough head winds on the bends gave Avery a 52.21 finishing in 4th and just short of qualification. He later commented

"I couldn’t seem to find my stride, it has left me knowing what I need to work on for the rest of the season, and hopefully I can redeem myself in the 4x400m relay tomorrow!"

The 800m was a tough race for Tom Desborough his heat was a tough one giving him a time of 2:17.63 and out of the qualifying zone.

Silver Medallist Holly Turner from the indoor championships attacked her heat with full force and finished second with 56.92 securing automatic qualification.


Elise Lovell was in the last heat of the day and finished with a 5.62 jump and automatic qualification in the long jump.

Joey Watson - Silver


Joey Watson threw an easy 14.73 from a standing throw qualifying in first within his heat for the Shotput. He went on to bag a silver medal in the final pipping Brunel’s Kai Jones to the post with 1cm to spare. He threw 16.05 in the final and was once again beaten by long standing rival Yousef Zatat. He failed to qualify in discuss due to a niggling sciatic injury.


"Due to injury I will be out for the rest of the athletics season but I am looking forward to next season when I can hopefully get back to full fitness, BUCS is always a great competition and I can't wait to see what next season holds."



Day Two


The women’s 400m semi-final proved tough for Scholarship athlete Holly Turner she fought hard finishing 4th and just short of securing a finals place with a time of 56.99.

The 1500m final gave Declan Neary a tough task, he ran hard until the end, but the competition was stiff. He finished in 8th with 4:02.94 which is a seasons best. Upon completion of the race Neary was asked to step up as a reserve for the men’s 4x400m relay due to an injury. Always the team man he got straight into warm up ready to compete in 50 minutes time.

The 4x400m relay team was made up on Jack Avery, Sebastian Cirillo, Tom Desborough & Declan Neary. They didn’t expect to produce the performance they managed in the heat. Avery strode out in lane 8 and raced confidently, passing over the baton in second to Seb who raced positively in the 400m, he passed the baton over in 3rd shocking himself with his efforts to Desborough, who went on to race his fastest 400m in years, Neary took the baton in fourth racing hard considering his previous 1500m semi, crossing the line and securing third for the Panthers 400m team. Overall the team finished 12th narrowly missing out on qualification.

Upon reflection the team said "We are stunned we weren't expecting to finish anywhere near where we did, we just can’t believe it, Dec stepping up at the last minute was great, we all came together, considering only one of us was a 400m runner we are so pleased with our overall performance."


The women’s long jump final gave Elise Lovell additional silverware to add to her collection in the form of a Bronze medal with 5.81m.

Daniel Ogun put in a strong performance that secured him a PB of 6.61 in the men’s Long jump heat, sadly it wasn't quite enough for him to qualify, and resulted in an injury forcing him to withdraw from the men’s 4x400m relay.

Day Three


Elise Lovell BronzeScholar Elise Lovell once again made it comfortably through her heat in second with a time of 14.38 in the 100m Hurdles. She went on to beat this time in the final coming 6th overall in 14.16.

The women’s 5000m saw Nicole Taylor run in a tough group to finish 6th overall and obtain a PB of 16:25.21, the previous leg saw a slower group of runners allowing Taylor to push hard and bring home some BUCS points.

This weekend allowed our Brighton athletics team and scholars to show off their talents and team strength. The team stood strong together and helped each other when it was most needed.

The weekends Athletics Captain Tom Desborough's reflection sums up the weekend:

"There were great performances from every Brighton athlete, with two medals won by Elise in the long jump and Joey in the shot put and PBs set by Nicole in the 5000m, Dan in the long jump and Seb in the 1500m. This was the more successful than we expected the BUCS outdoors to be and we can only expect more success in the future."


BUCS OD 2017