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Brunel Crowned British Universities Indoor Athletics Champions

In the 1990s there were several years when Brunel won either the men's or the women's championships, but this is the first year in which they have won both.

Brunel Athletics Club coach, Dr Coastas Karageoghis, said: “It was quite an historic weekend for Brunel Athletics Club as we have never won both men's and women's trophies at the British Universities Championships. A big thank you to the Club Committee for all their sterling work, to everyone who turned out to perform and to those who came along to offer their support.“

A golden trinity of sprinting performances ensured that Brunel dominated the women's competition. Leading the way was MA English student Tara Bird, who had just returned from the European Indoor Championships in Turin. Bird flew through the rounds of the 400 m then set a new Championship Best Performance (CBP) and personal best in the final where she took gold with a time of 54.24 sec.

Equally impressive was Sport Sciences student Joey Duck who set a personal best time in each round of the 60 m dash before winning the gold medal in 7.43 sec. Lucy Sargent took gold in the 200 m with 24.63 sec before joining Bird, Duck and Charlotte-Rose Allee in the 4 x 200 m relay where they set a CBP of 1:37.82 min.

There were many other successes for the Brunel women. In the gruelling 3000 m event, Sports Scholar Emma Pallant left the other athletes trailing in her wake yet hardly appeared to be out of breath when she crossed the line in 9:52.61 min to take the gold. Also in gold medal-winning form was Sport Sciences student Claire Linskill who bounded out to an impressive 12.57 m in the triple jump.

Linskill was joined on the winners' podium by debutante Shakira Whight who claimed the bronze medal (12.03 m). Pole vaulter Stephanie Smith produced an inspired performance, soaring to a new PB of 3.80 m which landed her the silver medal in a hotly-contested final.

The men's team did not quite have it all their own way as they were pushed to the last by a strong Bath team. Their sole gold medallist was the 19-year-old Scottish record holder Scott Huggins who achieved a height of 4.80 m in the pole vault. Many of the minor medals were taken by Brunel and this ultimately proved decisive in determining the championship. Fresh from his silver-medal winning relay performance in Turin, MSc Sport Sciences student Nick Leavey won yet another silver in the 200 m final with a quick time of 21.56 sec. The indomitable Leavey also anchored the 4 x 200 m relay quartet to a bronze medal (1:29.05 min) recording a split time of 20.9 sec. He was joined by Sport Sciences undergraduates Sam Hook, Matt George and Harvey Byrne.

Anthony McWilliams broke his personal best in the 60 m dash semi-final (6.91 sec) then clinched a bronze medal in the final (6.95 sec). There were two further bronze medals for the men in the horizontal jumps - both achieved by team debutants.

First, History and Politics undergraduate Michael Puplampu in the triple jump (14.62 m) then Sociology student Nonso Okolo in the long jump (7.11 m). Among many lifetime best performances on the men's team, Jordan Donnelly's run of 1:53.84 min in the 800 m (5th) was particularly impressive. The BUCS Outdoor Championships will follow in the first bank holiday weekend in May at which Brunel will hope to replicate their indoor success over a wider range of events.

Brunel University Athletics Club
BUSA Indoor Athletics Championships, EIS Sheffield, 14-15 March 2009

Brunel Results

Event Men Women
'A' String 'B' String 'A' String 'B' String
60m Anthony McWilliams Harvey Byrne Lucy Sargent Joey Duck
3rd 6.95 (6.91 *SF) 7.18 SF (7.16 Ht) 7th 7.84 (7.79 SF) 1st 7.43 *
200m Nick Leavey Sam Hook Lucy Sargent Charlotte Allee
2nd 21.56 23.13 SF (22.96 Ht) 1st 24.63 4th 25.03 *
400m Patrick North Nick Bates Tara Bird Harriet Pryke
DNF SF (50.42 Ht) 51.94 (Ht) 1st 54.24 CBP * 61.48 SF (59.95 *Ht)
800m Richard Larsen Jordan Donnelly Shelayna Oskan Hannah Jeanes
2:04.03 SF (1:57.90 Ht)5th 1:53.84 DQ (2:18.70 SF) 2:26.46 SF (2:22.81 Ht)
1500m Robert Heaney Harry Webb
4:13.06 SF 9th 4:03.67 (3:58.33 * SF)
3000m Ben Tyler Adam Stainsby Emma Pallant
8.45.75 * (Ht) 9:26.32 (Ht) 1st 9:50.26
60m Hurdles Matt Field Joe Lancaster Francesca Bennett
6th 8.35 * 8.73 Ht 9.51 Ht
Shot Putt Joe Lancaster Matt George
4th 12.28 7th 12.00
Long Jump Nonso Okolo Matt George Lauren Longhurst
3rd 7.11 6.05 (Q) NJ
Triple Jump Michael Paplampu Daniel Lewis Claire Linskill Shakira Whight
3rd 14.62 6th 14.47 (14.70 Q) 1st 12.57 3rd 12.03
High Jump Daniel Dunscombe Ashley Philips Pamela Hughes
=7th 1.90 1.85 (Q) =5th 1.65
Pole Vault Scott Huggins Joe Lancaster Stephanie Smith
1st 4.80 9th 4.10 * 2nd 3.80 *
4 x 200m Hook / Byrne / George / Leavey Sargent (V. Randall Ht) / Allee / Bird / Duck
3rd 1:29.05 (23.3/22.0/22.9/20.9) 1st 1:37.82 CBP (24.9/25.1/24.8/23.1)

* = Personal Best Performance
CBP = Championship Best Performance

Note to Editors:
Brunel University supports its student athletes through the Athletics Performance Programme, a comprehensive support package which includes access to our world class athletics facilities, coaching, competition and mentoring. For more information about athletics at Brunel university visit www.brunel.ac.uk/athletics or email athletics@brunel.ac.uk
Brunel Press Office: email: press-office@brunel.ac.uk
Photographer: Job King: 01509 228770: Email: jking@uka.org.uk