At the recent Scottish University and College Indoor Athletics Championships the pressure was on for Glasgow University Athletics Club (GUAC ). Having won the Indoors for the past two years and adding an Outdoor title last year, it was again time for GUAC to defend its place as Scotland’s premier student athletics club, fending off the main threat of their counterparts in Edinburgh. And what a finer place to do it than the brand spanking new Commonwealth Emirates Indoor Athletics Arena, located in the East End of Glasgow.
The day kicked off with the Pole Vault, with fresher Andrew Murphy claiming a bronze medal and then later winning gold in the men’s 60m Hurdles. This inspired GUAC into action. There were many strong performances from Glasgow athletes on the track, with finalists in the Men’s and Women’s 60m. It was Rachel Whittle who came away with Silver in the women’s 60m Hurdles.
With the short sprints out of the way it was now time for the speed endurance athletes to shine. Matthew Sogbanmu ran his legs off coming away with bronze medals in the 200m and 400m, and Glasgow had multiple finalists in both these events. Not to be outdone by the boys, the girls laid down some solid performances on the track, again filling up the finals. Enter Laura Muir, putting aside the longer distances for the day and showing her speed and style, easing to victory in both the 400m and 800m. In the longer events Glasgow’s Ali Wilson and Peter Bowman both picked up silver medals in the 1500m and 3km respectively.
In the Field events GUAC again showed true pedigree. There was a close fought battle between Sam O’kane and Carlos Baezo in the Shot Putt, providing a rare Glasgow one, two, with Sam narrowly coming out on top. Rachel Pugh topped off the throws domination by winning the Woman’s Shot Putt. But the standout field performance of the day has to go to Nikki Manson, who stole the show with a New Championship Record performance in the High Jump, blowing the other competitors away and captivating the spectators.
After a day of quality performance and downright grit, Glasgow eventually ran away with the overall Championship winning with a 31 point cushion; GUAC retained the Appleton Trophy for victory over close rivals Edinburgh. GUACs Athletes left the Emirates Arena with a mix of personal bests, medals, smiles and sore legs – but plenty of energy left to celebrate long into the night!