Over the Early May bank holiday weekend whilst students across the nation were locked indoors studying hard for exams, the country’s finest student athletes gathered at Bedford’s premium track for an ultimate athletics showdown.
The weekend began with heats on Saturday, with former-Club Captain Alex Mundell taking on the 800m. With the top 3 in each heat to qualify for the semi-finals, Mundell battled her way to a comfortable qualification, finishing second in her heat with a time of 2:23.73.
In the 1500m, Niki Faulkner ran well in a tough heat finishing with 4:05.72. Two heats later, James Millett went a tad quicker at 4:05.08, and although the boys narrowly missed out on qualification, they still finished in the top 30.
In the spectator-favourite 3000m Steeplechase, Oliver Newton made it over the 37 hurdles and ran his first sub-10 to qualify as one of the “fastest losers” in a time of 9:55.60.
In Sunday’s action, Idan Gal-Shohet was up in the long jump, leaping to a respectable 22nd place with a best jump of 6.23m.
Back on the track, Mundell returned to race in the 800m semi-final, where she ran faster to post a season’s best time of 2:21.04.
The final day of the championships saw some spectacular performances in the men’s 5000m with Daniel Mulryan finishing 13th in 14:51.24 after taking the lead early on, closely followed in 14th by fresher Oliver Barbaresi who ran a track personal best of 14:52.01, a fantastic run after coming back from injury.
Their times differed by less than a second despite running in different heats, with the second heat significantly faster than the first.
Club Captain-elect and lycra-lover Henry Hart also ran a promising time.
In the 3000m Steeplechase final, Oliver Newton returned to beat the personal best he set the day before to run 9:54.03 and finish 13th overall.
However, the main event of the day was always set to be the women’s 5000m final, with Imperial’s Dani Chattenton taking to the track, whilst many club members back in London spectated via an infamous livestream. The race began tentatively before quickly picking up, spreading the field out into a lead group of 8. then 5. then 4…
Chattenton managed to keep the pace with the leaders right up to the final lap, finishing 4th in a huge personal best of 16:08.53, and a massive 13 seconds ahead of 5th place.
Overall the weekend was a roaring success, offering a taste of the sort of performances we can expect to see from Imperial’s athletes later in the season.