On Friday 10th November OUSC packed their bags and headed up to Sheffield to compete in BUCS short course: a nationwide event with 49 universities competing, including Olympians. After an initial delay due to the door not shutting (sadly, Jamie Towner’s ego wouldn’t fit) OUSC were ready for a big weekend.
Despite the early starts and multiple races, OUSC absolutely smashed BUCS, with a total of 9 blues times, 6 finals and a silver medal!
Friday evening saw both the men’s and women’s free relays swimming. The women’s team had been struck down by multiple illnesses this week but still pulled off a phenomenal swim with some very fast splits by Charlotte Newman, Courtney Sanders, Lara Reed and Lauren Burton. Next, the men’s team of Matthew Williams, Jamie Towner, Dom McLoughlin and Dan Luo bettered their entry time by two seconds with some incredibly fast splits, which saw them safely into the B final the next day where they came 10th.
Saturday morning saw the women’s 200m free, with Emma Watts, Lara and Lauren swimming some great times, Lauren achieving a blues time! The men’s 200m free also had some brilliant swims by Ben Eastman, Rodrigo Orselli, Adam Bagley and Dom. Next, Jamie’s 50m back was not only a blues time but also secured himself a space in the B final later that day where he bettered his time from the morning and came 7th. Following this, the 50m breast was a busy event, seeing Tilly Ansell, Tori Lackey, Adam, Jacob Marchbank, Matthew, Cameron Manley and Toby Mackay-Champion swim incredibly well, with both Matthew and Toby achieving blues times. Toby swam later on in the A final and finished 7th in an even faster time than the morning! Some amazing 100m fly swims followed by Zara Ryan (who had been in bed ill all week (!!)), Arman Karshenas, Dom, Ben, Cameron and Declan Pang to finish an action-packed session.
The next session saw Emma and Ben in the 200m back with Emma bettering her entry time! The 50m free played host to some great swims by the girls – Lauren and Courtney – and the boys – Adam, Arman, Dan, Matthew and Jamie – who achieved yet another blues time! The final individual swims for the day were the 200m breast where we saw some outstanding swims from Tori, Rodrigo, Jacob and Toby who smashed his blues time by over 12 seconds (!!) and went on to come second in the A final with another tremendous time almost a whole second faster than his heat – a simply jaw-dropping swim by Toby!
Saturday also saw the medley relays, where the girls’ team of Suzy Norman, Tori, Zara and Lauren swam very well, and the boys’ team of Jamie, Toby, Dan and Cameron swam confidently to place themselves comfortably in the B final. In the final, Cameron and Jamie swapped around and they went on to come 4th with a time faster than their heat and – crucially – beating Cambridge! Below are some photos of the boys’ final, where they are in lane 7.
Saturday had provided a shedload of excitement, and Sunday unfolded in much the same manner. The day started on a high note, with Zara and Ben swimming close to blues times on the 200m fly. Then, Courtney and Lauren competed in the 100m free, where Lauren achieved her 2nd blues time of the weekend. The boys’ 100m free was equally exciting, with Dan, Dom, Matthew and Jamie swimming very fast times, and Jamie achieving his third blues time of the weekend!
The 100m breast saw Tilly, Cameron, Jacob and Matthew all swimming very well and Toby achieving his 3rd blues time of the weekend as he booked his place in the final. In the final, Toby posted a really strong swim to come 7th with yet another faster time than the heats. As the day progressed, we saw some great 200m IM swims by Lauren, Lara, Dom, Adam and Declan and some impressive 50m fly by Courtney, Arman, Dom and Dan. In the penultimate event of the day – the 100m back – Tilly, Suzy, Ben, Cameron and Jamie swam very well, particularly considering how many races had preceded it. The event ended with one of swimming’s more gruelling events: the 400m free. Tori, Emma, Lara and Rodrigo all swam really well to end OUSC’s weekend with yet another positive result.
The weekend was a huge success for OUSC, especially with it coming so early on in the season! To have so many blues times, PBs, finals and a medal will provide us with a huge boost to finish this term’s training well.
Special mentions must go to Toby for his three blues times and silver medal, Jamie for his three blues times, Lauren for her two and Matthew his first blues time for OUSC!
Written by Juliet Flamank