The 17 - 19 February 2017 saw the Swimming Club return to British University and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Nationals Shortcourse at Pond’s Forge, Sheffield.
Looking to build on last year’s promising performance, the ambitious club were once again looking to put in a strong performance at BUCS’ showpiece swimming event.
Ffion Butler gave one of the strongest individual performances of the weekend, securing three medals in the Para-Swimming category.
Bronze in the 50m freestyle
Silver in the 100m freestyle
Gold in the 100m backstroke
Abby Smith also performed superbly in the 800m freestyle by securing 5th spot with a monstrous personal best of 8:46.53.
Not only was this a significant improvement on her 8th place finish in last year’s race but her time additionally qualified her for this event at British Championships!
Abby then went on to achieve bronze in the 400m freestyle, with another PB beating her previous record by two seconds and again qualifying for the Championships.
Head Coach, Gary Humpage, reserved some glowing praise for Abby:
“With Abby, those that are familiar with her know that she tends to deliver on the big stages, however to claim an individual medal within swimming - which, as history would show us, is a hard enough task as it is!
Getting two national qualifying times and PBs across the board whilst battling against persistent health problems and injuries is nothing short of inspirational.”
Another stand-out performance was that of Lizzy Gray, contributing superbly both individually and to the team relays.
Her four year stay within the Club has seen a remarkable improvement and at the weekend she secured PB’s in the 100m butterfly and 50m butterfly, as well as club records in the former and another in the 100m freestyle leading off the relay.
Other notable achievements include that of Emily Lane, achieving a PB and club record in the 100m backstroke and another big PB in the 50m backstroke.
Abby Gee did exceptionally well to secure 7th in the 200m butterfly after coming back from a long–term ankle injury and operation; much to the joy of the Head Coach.
Overall the women’s team secured 4th, contributing 111/200 points scored by the club at Nationals.
As Gary Humpage notes, the performance of the whole club was up there with that of top-performing swimming universities who already have 50m swimming training facilities: we're excited to see what the team will be capable of once they move into their new home!