Chelmsford played host to the 2022 British University Championships (BUCS) weekend beginning 30th April and four Bolton Harriers represented their universities. They were competing against many of the elite athletes in the country.
Edge Hill student Rebecca Weekes had a busy weekend competing in the 400m hurdles, 200m and the 4x400m relay. In her preferred event the 400m hurdles Rebecca ran a measured heat to finish 4th in a seasons best 67.91 seconds to qualify for the semi final. In the SF she ran even better to record a personal best of 66.18 seconds. In the 200m she ran another seasons best of 26.99 seconds and then was part of the university relay team that finished 6th in their heat.
Ben To was the only representative from UCLAN to make the start line. In his heat he ran 11.04 seconds which is just outside his PB and duly qualified for the semi final. In his next race he ran much better and he smashed his PB, breaking through the elusive 11 seconds barrier (the mark of a top male sprinter) to record 10.92 seconds. Afterwards Ben was delighted with the run “I felt so strong and now I’ve broken 11 seconds I think I can run even faster”. He also competed in the 200m where he made the SF, his best time of the weekend 22.72.
Birmingham University duo Olivia Kimbowa and Hannah Kelly both pulled on the red vest of Birmingham to compete in the 400m and the 400m relay. In the flat 400 Olivia qualified for the semi final and ran a fantastic race in a time of 57.71 seconds to finish 3rd. Unfortunately she missed out on the final by just one place but the UOB student wasn’t disappointed. Hannah went one better and qualified for the final by winning both her heat and the semi final.
The final proved to be a shoot out between Hannah and Loughborough student Natasha Harrison. Hannah did exactly what coach Les Hall wanted – she ran good, better, best. A good heat, a better semi and the best in the final. She ran a PB in the final of 54.03 but just missed out on gold by a tiny margin. Not to be outdone through Hannah and Olivia ran the first two legs in the relay to put their team in a winning position which they held onto on the last leg to take away a well deserved gold medal each.
All athletes now return to training with their thoughts on improving their performances throughout the season.