Between the 15th and 17th of February, a team of Imperial’s finest athletes set off for BUCS Indoors in Sheffield.
This is the first big event of the athletics calendar and is attended by the best university athletes from across the country. It provides a great chance for athletes to gain experience of competition at the highest level and is always a great event.
The competition began on the Friday, with Mahmoud Barrie leading the way for ICXCAC in the 60 metre sprints – he delivered an excellent run in the heats and qualified for the semi-finals in a time of 7.09 seconds! The margins are so small over such a short distance and it was incredible watching the sprinters pushing themselves to the limit in the finals later on that day.
Also representing ICXCAC on Friday was Kate Olding, who ran really well in the 800m heats and narrowly missed out (by half a second!) on qualification for the semi-finals the following day.
The rest of the team was in action on Saturday, with James Millett starting the weekend strongly with a great performance in the 1500m heats, finishing in a time of 4:04.
What followed was an action-packed day, with an excellent set of results for the team in both the men’s and women’s 3000m heats – both Dani Chattenton and Dan Mulryan qualified for the finals, while Stephanie Hewitt smashed her PB by a whole 11 seconds, finishing in a time of 10:42.
Dani also qualified for the 1500m final, while Alex Mundell ran excellently in her 1500m heat, leaving herself with plenty to build on as the season progresses.
Idan Gal-Shohet also performed well in the high jump, finishing with a best jump of 6.21m.
After a successful day on the track (and long jump pit!), we piled into Dani’s car and headed back to our accommodation, where we spent the evening cooking together and catching up on the highlights of the British Indoor Champs in Birmingham #onbrand.
For our finalists, it was an early night and a nervous wait, while the rest of the team had the chance to sample Sheffield’s renowned nightlife.
Sunday: finals day. Always guaranteed to be a day packed with drama and it didn’t disappoint!
The first big race of the day for Imperial was the 3000m women’s final, which Dani Chattenton entered as a strong favourite – she handled the pressure like a pro, outlasting the rest of the field to take gold in a time of 9:37!
An amazing achievement in itself, but could she add to her medal haul later that day in the 1500m final?
We would soon find out, but first we had Dan Mulryan in the men’s 3000m final. It was a tough ask given his recent 5k PB in Armagh only a few days beforehand, but Dan delivered an excellent run, finishing in a time of 8:31.
Following on from Dan’s final, we all waited in anticipation to see whether Dani could pull off the double – the 1500m final was up next! What followed was an exciting final, where she put in a very strong run to finish in second place and bag her second medal of the day!
It can’t be understated what an achievement it is to win two middle distance medals in one day, so huge congratulations to Dani.
As expected, finals day did not disappoint – on top of the amazing performances for ICXCAC, we had athletes literally throwing themselves over the line in their quest for a medal and actual Olympians competing in the women’s high jump.
Being able to watch Morgan Lake winning gold at BUCS knowing she represented our country in Rio 2016 was pretty spectacular and I’m sure was quite inspiring for the women competing against her.
Overall, it was an amazing weekend for the team. So much to build on for the rest of the season and plenty of inspirational performances to drive us on.
This is only the beginning of the athletics season so there are sure to be more exciting times to come – up next is LUCA outdoors at Parliament Hill on 23rd March. This competition is between London universities and provides a relaxed environment for both beginner and experienced athletes from across the region – if you fancy giving it a go, join Imperial College Athletics & Cross Country (ICXCAC) today!
We have a full week of varied sessions on offer and with membership you can also compete for the university. We’d love to have you out there helping us battle against King’s, UCL and LSE for the LUCA Outdoors title.
Find us on Facebook, Instagram, Imperial College Union or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org