The first day of BUCS kicked off with the 1500m heats. MacGregor Cox ran 4:01.18, just one place off qualification for the semi-finals, with James Coxon coming very close to the Blues Standard with a 3:53.74, qualifying for the semi-finals. Niamh Bridson Hubbard was part of an incredible feat of synchronised finishing, coming third in her heat in 4:43.18 (with seven runners finishing between 4:43.08 and 4:43.53). Nancy Scott followed up her run at Watford on Wednesday to come within 0.11 seconds of her PB to run 4:46.11 to also safely qualify for the semi-finals. In the 800m, Izzy Dye ran 2:16.82 to easily qualify for the semi-finals automatically. Pete Cameron got caught up in a six second gap between 4th and 6th in his 800m heat to run 1:57.21. MacGregor reappeared to do a 2:02.39 800m after some interesting pacing.
The semi-finals followed on Sunday with high quality races all-around. Izzy ran the Blues Standard in the semi-final (2:13.35) and just missed out on a place in the final by 0.04s. Clearly one PB was not enough for the week for Nancy ran 4:44.64 in the first semi-finals, while Niamh ran 4:35.28 in a semi-final that took it out very quickly, both narrowly missing out on qualification for the final. Later on in the afternoon James ran his 1500 semi-final in 3:53.86 – another indication that a Blues standard race is on its way.
BUCS culminated on Bank Holiday Monday. In one of the highest standard men’s 5000m competitions in recent years, George Gathercole took 7th in the B race to run 14:43.52. In the A race Will Ryle-Hodges dipped under 15 with 14:55.48 and Phillip Crout finished 11th in 14:22.87 in an even more stacked field (where even an under-23 European Cross champion couldn’t win and the 2017 BUCS XC champion was 7th). The women’s 5000m B race was dominated by Cambridge duo Emily Ruane and Lauren Major who calmly dealt with early kicks and watching others get dropped from the pack before throwing the hammer in the last few laps – a huge run and kick from Emily to win the B race in 17:09.45 (and beating half the A race to finish 8th overall!) and Lauren third in 17:23.66 – both easily under the Blues’ standard of 17:40. Hannah Morton finished off a successful weekend for Cambridge with a 7:58.56 2000m steeplechase.
Link to full results here
Watch replays of the races here