Over the weekend of February 11-12, University of Birmingham Sport (UBSport) alumni headed to the English Institute of Sport (EIS) in Sheffield to compete at the UK Indoor Trials and Championship.
Biochemistry graduate Hannah England was the star of the show while attempting a less familiar distance of the 3000m in a bid to improve her strength and stamina. The 2011 World Championship silver medallist tactically hit the front of the pack on the penultimate lap to execute her trademark sprint finish.
The 24-year old dealt comfortably with the endurance test, crossing the finish line in an outstanding 9:06:04, and the win will help her in preparations for London 2012.
Speaking to Channel 4 after the race Hannah, who has decided not to compete at the World Indoor Championships next month, said: ‘I knew I was running within myself and could kick strongly. I’m in really good shape. The training’s been brilliant; I’ve had two stints in Kenya with UK Athletics.’
She added: ‘I just wanted to challenge myself and come out of my comfort zone. I was racing against cross-country girls today – it was a different experience.’
2011 British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) hurdles champion and former Vice-President for Sport Julian Adeniran was also in action, recording an impressive third-place finish in the 60m hurdle final. Julian showed a good turn of foot and excellent technique to win his heat with a personal best (PB) time of 7.74s. In the race final Adeniran clipped the second hurdle after getting out of the blocks quickly, which just stunted his momentum, but a late burst secured bronze in 7.84.
The 23-year old Law graduate was thrilled when speaking to Redbrick about his overall performance, saying: ‘I’m ecstatic to have won my first senior UK Championship medal and to also walk away from the championships with a new personal best. The ability to focus solely on athletics, following the law degree and Sabbatical Officer term has enabled me to really progress from last year.
‘I hope performances like these will help to attract the sponsorship lifeline I desperately need to be able to push on and achieve selection for this summer’s Olympic Games.’
Other notable UBSport alumni performances:
Ed Aston (2011 Mathematics) won his heat in the 800m, and took bronze in the final crossing the line in 1.49.73.
Jonny Hay (first year Chemistry) and Luke Gunn (2006 Sport and Material Sciences) both ran in the men’s 3000m, coming sixth and eighth.
Heptathlete Louise Hazel (2007 French graduate) recorded a PB in the shot put and narrowly missing out on qualification for the final of the 60m hurdles.