10/02/12 BUCS Long Course

Edinburgh University’s first team swimmers travelled down to Sheffield on the weekend of the 11th February for the BUCS longcourse swimming meet. As Scottish Student Sport (SSS) League title holders, the team wanted to make their mark on the British stage. The weekend kicked off on Friday evening with the men and women’s 400m freestyle relay heats; the women qualified in 3rd and the men in 7th. Emma Bird also came 5th in the women’s open 800m freestyle, picking up some early points for Edinburgh. On Saturday morning, session one, Sarah Eaglesham got Edinburgh off to a flying start, qualfiying in the 200m freestyle heats,with a time of 2.07:63. Cameron Smith also made it to the final in the 200m freestyle, swimming a 1:56.86 in the heats. James Thomson and Kieran McGuckin qualified for the 50m backstroke, with times of 27.69 and 27.92 respectively, whilst Corrie Scott and Andrea Strachan qualified for the 50m breaststroke final (times of 32.65 and 32.97 respectively). Scott Wilcox and Nicholas Quinn secured their place in the 50m breaststroke final with times of 30.06 and 30.60 respectively. The Edinburgh women’s Medley relay team also successfully got through the heats for the 400m Medley.

In the second session of the day, Andrea Strachan secured her place in the 50m freestyle final with a time of 27.62. This was followed by Scottish record holder, Richard Schafers, sailing through his 50m freestyle heat in a time of 23.23. Scott and Bird made it to the 200m breaststroke final, as did Quinn for the men. Ishbel Rodger secured a place in the 400m freestyle with a time of 4:39.83; Cameron Smith took his place in the 400m freestyle final with a time of 4:07.38. The men’s Medley relay team wrapped up the session, ensuring their passage to the final of the 400m Medley.

In the first set of finals that evening, Eaglesham narrowly missed out on a bronze medal in the 200m freestyle event, finishing 4th with a time of 2:04.52, just 0.05 seconds behind Loughborough’s Rachael Solway, who took 3rd. Thomson and McGuckin took 5th and 6th place in the 50m backstroke final. In th 50m breaststroke final it was not only and all-Scottish podium finish, but an all-Edinburgh affair! In a close race, Scott and Strachen took gold and silver with times of 32.35 and 32.45 respectively, whilst Kathryn Johnstone took bronze for Heriot Watt University. Strachen also placed 8th in her 50m freestyle final. Schafers claimed gold in the men’s 50m freestyle final, the only swimmer to go sub 23, with a time of 22.82. Bird and Scott proved to be a formidable duo in the 200m breaststroke final, with Bird taking gold and Scott just missing bronze by 0.16 seconds. The day’s events concluded with the 400m freestyle team relays, at which point Edinburgh was placing 5th overall. Edinburgh’s women, Strachen, Bird, Scott and Eaglesham, placed 2nd and claimed the silver medal behind Loughborough University. The men, with McGuckin, Thomson, Smith and Schafers, took the bronze behind Loughborough (1st) and Bath (2nd).

Sunday saw Eaglesham and Schafers qualify for their 100m freestyle finals, with times of 59.08 and 51.30 in their respective heats. Strachen went 1:13.75 in the 100m breaststroke heats, whilst Bird went 1:14.05; both qualified for the final. Wilcox went 1:06.17 in the 100m breaststroke heats to secure his place in the final. Scott made it to the final of the 200m Individual Medley with a 2:19.65, as did Thomson, going 2:11.29.

The weekend culminated for Edinburgh in finals for Eaglesham and Schafers (100m free); Bird, Strachen and Wilcox (100m breaststroke); Scott (200m IM); McGuckin (100 backstroke) and the 400m Medley team relays. Eaglesham secured bronze in the 100m freestyle final, going a rapid 57.92. Schafers took silver with a time of 51.77. In a close race for 2nd and 3rd, Bird finished with bronze in the 100m breaststroke, going 1:12.90, whilst Strachen finished 5th with a time of 1:13.78.

Sally Abernethy