February 27, 2015, by Lee Chrimes
BUCS Nationals – more news from the weekend
This year’s BUCS Nationals event was held in Sheffield and attracted more than 6,000 students from across the country. The University of Nottingham had a particularly successful and entertaining weekend, fielding several teams in a number of different competitions. Here is a summary of the action:
UoN had fantastic success in terms of involvement this year; 27 club members, many of whom were entirely new to competitive trampolining, were present at the tournament. Our members completed excellent routines that belied their lack of experience. In spite of this, the standard of the competition was particularly high this year, and only 3 competitors made it through to the finals. Georgie Dowsett made the BUCS 2 women’s finals and came 9th; Tom Schoolbraid made the BUCS 6 men’s finals and came 5th; and finally, Jack de Frates, who qualified with the highest score in BUCS 5 men on the Saturday, went on to win that category in the finals on Sunday, taking home the gold medal.
The girls’ teams all experienced difficult draws in this year’s Nationals. Jess Sharman and Claire Symeonides were unlucky to come up against the 1st and 2nd seeds in their first round doubles match and, despite only narrowly losing the second set 21-17, weren’t able to pull off an upset. Germaine Chey and Ellen Mahenthiralingam, on the other hand, succeeded in making it all the way through to the quarter finals before losing out to the 3rd and 4th seeds 21-19, 21-16. There was some sibling rivalry in the mixed doubles, with Jess and Ying-Hua Zhao competing unsuccessfully against Jess’s sister, Hannah, and her partner of Birmingham University. Ellen and George Hargreaves went on a great run, before bowing out in the 5th round to the 1st seeds. The UoN singles players also encountered tough draws, and despite giving it their all, none of them managed to make it beyond the 4th round.
The Karate team did very well at this year’s Nationals. They managed a silver in men’s team kumite, losing out to Coventry in the final, and ex-president Jack Turner earned a gold in the men’s novice 80+kg. The women’s team kumite also made it to the semi-finals. Overall, UoN came 8th out of the 63 teams competing.
This year’s Nationals were a monumental success for UoN. Having entered the competition as underdogs, the women’s team left with the gold medal and the men secured the silver. Megan Douglas, Sophie Daniels, Raphaelle Barbier Saint Hilaire, Nadia Hansell and Elizabeth Johnson all earned medals for the women, and Lewis Dolman, Giovanni Ferrara, James Allen, Daniel Holland and Jonathan Herron collected medals for the men.
This year’s stand-out fencers were Callum Peyton, who made the last 16 in men’s foil, and Jacqueline Cordell and Julie Pages who both made the quarter finals in women’s sabre.