2017 marked yet another successful year for the club, with outstanding performances from our students occurring on both the domestic and global stage – business as usual for BUAC. Top results came thick and fast from the start of the year when in February, Phil Ferdinand’s triple jump club record fell during 2017’s BUCS indoor championships. Recent graduate Lawrence Davis leapt to a huge lifetime best of 16.01m to improve the 11 year-old record by over 7 cm’s while on his way to securing the gold medal. We wish Lawrence along with the rest of BUAC’s graduating class of 2017 every success for the future.
On the track, 18 of our student-athletes ran an impressive sub 4-minute 1500m in 2017. Of this sub 4-minute crop, front runner Jonny Davies bagged a brilliant bronze from the final of the 1500m during the World Universiade Championships held in Tapei over the summer. Jonny returned to The Taipei Municipal Stadium just three days later to add a silver medal to his collection, this time from the 5000m – a hugely successful trip to Taiwan for the BUAC man. A further international appearance featured master’s student Michael Bowler earning selection for Ireland at the European Combined Events Team Championships. A warm weekend of competition in the Spanish city of Monzon helped Michael break 7000 points for a new personal best in the decathlon, placing him just 200 points off the medals in 5th.
From beginning to end, 2017 has been an exceptional year in-particular for one member of BUAC. Starting her year off strong in February to become British Indoor 1500m champion, Sarah McDonald has consistently produced a whole host of world-class performances throughout the year. 6th in the final of the 1500m at the European indoor championships capped off an impressive indoor season for Sarah, but perhaps the best was yet to come. A 3rd place finish at the outdoor edition of the British Championships proved enough to secure a spot on the GB team for this summer’s World Athletics Championships. A fantastically-timed lifetime best during the first round of the 1500m saw Sarah progress to the semi-finals in London, cementing her place as a true world class athlete.
During the build up to this summer’s world championships, the club welcomed the return of the Jamaican Track and Field Team for another successful training camp. Around fifty of Jamaica’s finest track stars were granted all-access passes to many of the university’s brand-new facilities including the Chamberlain halls of residence, the recently opened £55 million Sport & Fitness Club and of course our brilliant athletics track on campus. The camp proved to be a hit with our student volunteers as well as the Jamaicans, with many of our athletes snapping photos with former World 100m champion Yohan Blake and Olympic, World and Commonwealth medallist Warren Weir before their departure to London.