The University of Sheffield Orienteering Club put in a good performance to finish second overall at the BUCS Championships last weekend in Edinburgh.
The club sent a team of 29 which is the largest they have taken to date. On the Saturday the individual events took place over a 6.7 km course for women and a 9km course for men..
Sheffield’s women put in a strong performance right across the squad. Although they couldn’t get top spot, which went to Edinburgh’s Hollie Orr. Laura Daniel managed second place, while Anwen Darlington also got into the medals’ positions in third place. Lucy Harris finished eighth.
Anwen said afterwards, “I was absolutely thrilled with my race and made very few mistakes. It is also my first year at Sheffield so hopefully I can improve on this result over the next few years.”
In the Men’s class Ralph Street was Sheffield’s top finisher in fifth position. However, he was still disappointed with his performance, saying “I knew I was running really well but I made too many mistakes to get a podium result”. However it was a points-paying position nonetheless andThe scoring three was completed by Dave Schorah in 7th and Dave Abrams in 10th.
Sheffield also had some good results in the other classes on day one which did not count towards the overall points standings. Andy Sadler took silver in the Men’s B event, while Emily Wood took bronze in the Women’s B. Sheffield also dominated the Novice Course event, with James Walsh, Callum Chambers, Johanna Eklund and Johannes Klotz filling the tp four positions for Uni.
Street said, “The club is very hopeful that these beginner and developing orienteers will run in the scoring classes by the time they finish university.”
Sunday was relay day and Sheffield still had a chance of winning the overall result provided they won both the Men’s and the Women’s relay.
In the Men’s mistakes by the first and second leg runners meant that Sheffield’s Ralph Street was left fighting a tough battle with the Oxford team and Edinburgh’s Mark Nixon, who had won the individual race, for second place. He managed to run away from them at the end of the course to secure the runner-up position. The Men’s team were extremely disappointed with this result, with first leg runner John Rocke saying “We know we have the quality to match any team in the country but in a relay it is all about staying calm and being mistake free and today we failed to do that”.
In the Women’s relay Sheffield managed third place, a result which they were pleased with and which also gave Sheffield the runner-up spot in the overall standings.
The athletes are now gearing up for the domestic season where many will be hoping to gain selection into the Great Britain squad and some will be trying for places at the Junior and Senior World Orienteering Championships. The Men’s team will also be trying to defend the UK Relay League title that they won last year in empathic fashion with three clear victories.Upcoming events include the British Relay Championship in May which is being held in Sheffield.