Birmingham athletes dominate at Temple Newsam, Kitty Shepherd-Cross reports, with Will Barnicoat and Amelia Quirk taking long-course victories as Charlotte Alexander and Jack Small win short-course races
Despite over 70 universities competing, the BUCS Cross Country Championships has recently developed into a tug of war between the midland titans of Loughborough and Birmingham University. Last year’s BUCS event saw the ‘African Violets’ dominate with six individual and team medals. This Saturday (Feb 3) in Leeds, however, Birmingham made sure to upend Loughborough’s ability to walk on water, as they reclaimed the medal haul.
Charlotte Alexander provided Birmingham’s first triumph, taking a decisive gold in the women’s B race. She showcased an inspiring comeback from injury after returning to running just three months ago. She was ‘’ecstatic to have won’’, providing a fairy tale end to her BUCS cross-country career, as she leaves Birmingham this summer to start a job in biotechnology.
Shortly afterwards, Birmingham’s Amelia Quirk soared to victory in the women’s A race. Quirk described it as “a long time coming”, having been second last year. This is Quirk’s first BUCS gold, following a flurry of BUCS silver and bronze medals.
It wasn’t however until the final event of the day that Birmingham’s true ascendence came. The men’s A race saw Birmingham’s unstoppable Will Barnicoat take gold. The double European cross-country champion seemed to triumph with relative ease.
No doubt his nickname ‘Will Barnigoat’ is catching on after this latest addition to his trophy cabinet. Following his footsteps, team-mates Tomer Tarragano and Oliver Smart stormed to silver and bronze – making it… BRUM BRUM BRUM at BUCS 2024!
The only individual gold left went to Loughborough’s Jack Small in the men’s B race. Small’s celebrations were anything but small because upon finishing he poured a litre of milk over his head. He tells us his coach, Chris McGeorge, inspired him as the former 800m international had won the BUCS cross-country B race in 1983.
Although their overall crown was taken, Loughborough’s women’s A team defended their spot as an endurance running powerhouse. India Barwell, Beth Morley and Tia Wilson all continued their season of exceptional performances to take home a team…